This article appears in the November 17, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Invitation to ‘Creating the Afghan Economic Miracle’
The following is the full text of the “Conference Perspective” provided by the event sponsor, the Ibn Sina Research and Development Center, in its invitation to the recent, Nov. 6–8, 2023 conference, “Operation Ibn Sina: The Coming Economic Miracle in Afghanistan,” in Kabul, Afghanistan at the Intercontinental Hotel.
There is amazing wealth for upcoming economic development in Afghanistan. The Afghans do not want any foreign geopolitical competition in their country anymore; instead, they request competition in economic development.
The challenges of the Afghan situation, which are essentially the result of 40 years of successive wars due to foreign invasions and occupations, left the country without real development. Besides this, the policy of sanctions imposed on Afghanistan after withdrawal of NATO forces, and the essential denial of cooperation with the government of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, have worsened the humanitarian crisis to an unacceptable level. Therefore, an entirely new approach is required.
The Ibn Sina Research and Development Center is organizing and hosting a conference in Kabul, approved by the government of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, and with its active participation, to present a comprehensive plan for the economic reconstruction of the entire country, with the goal to turn Afghanistan into a middle level income country in the foreseeable future.
Obviously, the alleviation and subsequent elimination of the humanitarian crisis must be a priority. But that is sustainable only if there is a nationwide program of basic infrastructure, including transport, energy, water management, communications, education, and health care. Only if these basics are built in the entire country can productive agriculture and industry be developed.
For this goal, the Conference will present the economic plan called, “Operation Ibn Sina,” which has been worked out by the volunteer economists of the international Schiller Institute, and provided to Afghan experts living abroad and in Afghanistan, to analyze and to prioritize its goals. This program draws upon the experience of other successful economic build-up programs, such as the Chinese economic miracle, which transformed China from a poor rural country into a manufacturing super-power; and earlier success stories, such as the industrialization of the young American Republic, the Meiji Restoration in Japan, the record of Russia, and other examples, such as Indonesia and Egypt.
The transformation of Afghanistan into a stable, prosperous country is also in the interests of all of the country’s neighbors, since the geographic location of Afghanistan makes it an organic hub for much of the transport and trade between Central Asia, South Asia, and Southwest Asia. The integration of Afghanistan into the corridors and infrastructure projects of the Belt and Road Initiative is in the interest of Afghanistan, as well as of all Eurasia.
Cooperation is paramount with the SCO and the EAEU, but especially now with the BRICS-Plus, which had its historic meeting in August in Johannesburg, South Africa, in which tectonic changes have taken place in creating a new economic system. If we turn Afghanistan into a prosperous country, as part of these gigantic changes in the Global South, it will represent hope.
This program will be realized in the tradition of one of the greatest sons of Afghanistan, Ibn Sina, whose father was born in Balkh, in the north of the country, and who is one of the greatest physicians and universal thinkers of all time. Ibn Sina was one of the great medical scientists of universal history, who enriched the knowledge of mankind about the body, the soul, and the universe, and in this way contributed to improving the conditions of life, and increasing the longevity of all the generations who came after him.
What an excellent metaphor for a rich and beautiful future for Afghanistan! Ibn Sina’s elevated spirit also stands for the high ideal, that the program associated with his name is above particular ethnic, local, or other specific interest groups, and is entirely and uniquely devoted to the benefit and happiness of the Afghan people.
This is a call to action for all patriotic Afghans living in the diaspora in many parts of the world, to return to Afghanistan to bring in their skills to contribute to the saving of the great nation of Afghanistan.