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Investment In Local Businesses Can Help Peacebuilding In Afghanistan

Investment In Local Businesses Can Help Peacebuilding In Afghanistan

Context:

Investment in medium-sized enterprises can play a central role in building sustainable peace in Afghanistan. Previous research on local business and entrepreneurial investment in post-conflict communities support this claim.

In the News:

“In fragile countries like Afghanistan, businesses can play an active role in building sustainable peace, especially as the country seeks to carve out a large role for itself in regional connectivity projects. Afghanistan is hoping to play a part in upcoming regional initiatives such as China’s One Belt, One Road, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the United States’ New Silk Road initiative. Kabul expects that international investment in the required infrastructure such as roads, railroads and gas pipelines will help generate local employment, and maximize opportunities for the country.”

“Investment in medium-sized enterprises (MEs) can play a central role in building sustainable peace in the country, by addressing some of the main drivers of the conflict such as unemployment and lack of access to basic service. It can also make conflict-related jobs, such as fighter or militant, less attractive by providing community members with employment skills that would allow them to find a job or set-up a small business. However, increased investment in Afghanistan also comes with risks. Without taking the appropriate measures, investments can further deepen ethnic divides or damage state-citizen relations if it doesn’t benefit local population or benefits one community over another.”

Support From Peace Science:

  • By participating in business development programs, micro-entrepreneurs broadened their market base and increased profits by developing relationships among themselves and with other business actors, government authorities, and customers in other parts of the country.
  • Business linkage activities among micro-entrepreneurs may have two effects on peacebuilding:
    • They improve overall economic conditions in conflict-affected areas, thereby “mitigating the causes of conflict.”
    • They create relationships/networks across ethnic lines, thereby contributing to social reconciliation.

References:

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