Located in South-Central Asia, Afghanistan is a landlocked country surrounded by Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and China. Officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Afghanistan is the 39th most populous country with 652,000 km² land, also a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the largest and the capital city of the country. Dari and Pashto are the standard languages of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is a developing country with a GDP growth rate of 2.6% annual change as of 2017. The population is around 32 million, with most of them comprised of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks. It is famous in Asia for its juicy pomegranates. Other famous products include opium and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems, etc. Also, oil, gas and copper, iron and other minerals, are the sectors most likely to produce exports and economic growth.
Tourism: Tourists could see many parks and mosques, while the Abdul Rahman Mosque is one of the largest in Kabul city. Bagh-e Babur is historic park and was the resting place of the first Mughal emperor Babur. And Balkh, Kandahar, Mazar-e Sharif, Herat, Bamiyan and Bagram are also very popular too.
Religion: Almost all the population in the country are Muslims, only a few thousand Hindus and Sikhs.
Culture: It is a predominantly ethnic country, with different regions having their own culture. Some regions follow Pashtun culture by following Pashtunwali, while the remaining Afghans follow either the Persian culture or the Turkic culture.
The banking sectors have played a vibrant role in Afghanistan’s economic development in the previous decade, and Islamic banking is extensively regarded as the fastest growing sector in the Middle Eastern financial services market.
Islamic banks, hence, involve themselves in financing for the working investment requirements and support the capital of an organization by participating in its equity. Here, financing is based on profit and loss sharing.
During the first decade of the new era, there were some improvements in various areas, such as macroeconomic indicators, exchange rate, balance of payments, investments, international trade, government revenues, and employment. And First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan has gained the top award for achieving the highest standards of financial acknowledgment.
The largest bank in the country is the Bank of Afghanistan, which became the centre of the formal banking system, and formerly played an important role in determining and implementing the country’s financial policies.
The finance fair in Kabul in 2012 was vital, with over 40 financial institutions, including banks, microfinance institutions, insurance companies exhibited their products and services to over 1500 Afghan firms and millions of visitors attended the fair.
The leading financial service providers in the country include the following:
|Agriculture||opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins.|
|Manufacture||Petroleum, coal, marble, gold, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semi-precious stones, and many rare earth elements.|
|Services (Including financial)||55%|
|Afghanistan International Bank||Banking|
|Momin Oil Industries||Oil|
|Ariana Afghan Airlines||Airline|
Afghanistan Stock Exchange (AFE) is part of the strategic economic development of Afghanistan. It operates as Afghanistan's first liquid exchange to offer the most varied collection of financial products and services, bringing together cash equities exchanges and foreign exchanges.
Kabul Stock Exchange (KBLSE) is the primary and major stock exchange in Afghanistan. It has not yet started functioning, but it would be trading with a broad category of capital market products and services, dealing in the sections such as listing of securities, buying and selling of cash equities, interest rate and equity derivatives, buying and selling of bonds, and supply of market data to various investors in Afghanistan soon.
Afghanistan’s striking average annual growth rate - 9%, from 2002-2012, has declined rapidly since 2014. According to the World Bank’s World Development Gauges, annual GDP growth fell from 14.4 percent in 2012 to 2 percent in 2013, then 1.3% and 1.5% in 2014 and 2015 respectively. This extreme economic deterioration is mostly the result of the post-2014 international military drawdown and the year of exaggerated political unsteadiness that followed the 2014 election.
The nation was under invasion in late December 1979 by troops from the Soviet Union, who succeeded in support of the Afghan communist government in its conflict with anti-Communist Muslim guerrillas during the Afghan War (1978–1992) and remained in Afghanistan until mid-February 1989.
However, the Soviets suffered severely by the end of 1980. Despite having failed to achieve a sympathetic administration in Afghanistan in 1988, the Soviet Union signed an agreement with the United States, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, to withdraw its troops. On Feb. 15, 1989, the withdrawal took place and Afghanistan returned to nonaligned status.
On 25th April 1992, a civil war had inflamed between three, later five or six mujahideen soldiers, when Hezb-e Islamic Gulbuddin led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and backed by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) declined to form an alliance government with other mujahideen groups and tried to conquer Kabul.
After four months, already half a million residents of Kabul had escaped the massively bombarded city. By mid-1994, Kabul's original population of two million had dropped to 500,000. In 1995–1996, the new territorial army Taliban, supported by Pakistan and ISI, had grown up to be the toughest force. On 27 September 1996, the Taliban, controlling by now considerable parts of western, southern and eastern Afghanistan, occupied Kabul and announced their Islamic Country of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan was established about 50,000 years ago. Early cities, such as Mundigak and Balkh, bounced up around 5,000 years ago, and they likely were linked with the Aryan culture of India.
Around 700 BCE, the Median Empire extended its rule to Afghanistan. By 550 BCE, the Persians had displaced the Medians, establishing the Achaemenid Dynasty.
Alexander, the Great of Macedonia, conquered Afghanistan in 328 BCE, formed a Hellenistic empire with its capital at Bactria. The Greeks were relocated around 150 BCE by the Kushans and later the Parthians, nomadic Iranians. The Parthians ruled till around 300 A.D when the Sassanians took power.
Most Afghans were Hindu, Buddhist or Zoroastrian at that period, but an Arab attack in 642 CE presented Islam. The Arabs conquered the Sassanians and ruled until 870, at that moment they were propelled again by the Persians.
In 1220, Mongol warriors under Genghis Khan conquered Afghanistan, and the offspring of the Mongols would rule much of the region until 1747.
In 1747, the Durrani Dynasty was originated by Ahmad Shah Durrani, a traditional Pashtun. This demonstrated the origin of modern Afghanistan.
The Russian and British competition expanded in the 19th century to influence Central Asia. Two wars were fought between Britain and the Afghans, one in 1839–1842 and another in 1878–1880. The British were routed in the First Anglo-Afghan War but took control of Afghanistan's overseas relations after the second.
It was impartial in World War I, but Crown Prince Habibullah was assassinated for alleged pro-British ideas in 1919. Later that year, Afghanistan attacked India, prompting the British to surrender control over Afghan foreign affairs.
Amanullah younger brother of Habibullah governed from 1919 until his resignation in 1929. His cousin, Nadir Khan, became king but persisted only four years before he was killed.
Nadir Khan's son, Mohammad Zahir Shah, then took the power, ruling from 1933 to 1973. He was exiled in a revolution by his cousin Sardar Daoud, who declared the country a republic. Daoud was overthrown in turn in 1978 by the Soviet-backed PDPA, which instituted the Marxist rule. The Soviets took benefit of the political instability to conquer in 1979; they would remain for ten years.
Warlords ruled from 1989 until the rebel Taliban took control in 1996. The Taliban administration was expelled by U.S.-led forces in 2001 for its support of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. A new Afghan government was formed, supported by the International Security Force of the United Nations Security Council. The new government sustained to obtain help from US-led NATO troops to fight Taliban insurgencies and shadow governments. The US war in Afghanistan was formally ended on December 28, 2014.
Mohammed Zahir Shah
Ahmed Shah Massoud
(Former Afghan military & political leader)
The Afghan Rupee (money) was in circulation in Afghanistan until 1925.Before 1891, silver rupees distributed with copper values and gold mohur. The three metals had dynamic exchange rate between them, with different areas issuing their own coins.
In 1891, a new money was introduced, derived from the Kabuli rupee. The rupee was segmented into 60 paisa, each of 10 dinars. Other currencies published included the Shahi of 5 paisa, the sanar of 10 paisa, the Abbasi of 20 paisa, the qiran of 30 paisa and the tilla and later the Amani, both of 10 rupees. The rupee was replaced by the Afghani in 1925, which is the currency today, but remained in circulation until 1978.
The banknotes were introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 afghanis on 7 October 2002. The coins replaced 1, 2 and 5 afghani notes in 2005. In 2004 and 2008, there were some improvements in the security features on several denominations. In 2014, to prevent forged notes, a new 1000 afghanis note came into existence.
According to the World Bank, economic growth in Afghanistan has been delayed by determined political uncertainty within the country. These factors have discouraged private investment and depressed consumer demand.
|National Song||""Millī Surūd""|
|Currency||Afghan afghani (AFN)|
|Languages||Persian, Pashto, Dari|
|GDP / GDP Rank||64.081 Billion USD|
|GDP Growth Rate||1.5 Percent|
|GDP Per Captial||$1918.599 (PPP)|
< 1.0% Christians
< 1.0% Hindus
< 1.0% Buddhists
< 1.0% Jews
< 1.0% Other Religions
President - Ashraf Ghani
|Website||Go to the web|
|Public Debt||8.271 Percent|
|Unemployment Rate||8.54 Percent|
|Labor Force (Occupation)||-|