Daud Ahmad, the senior adviser for the Ministry of Finance in
Afghanistan, identified some of the biggest problems with the
country’s economy and the problems it faces in becoming a
self-sufficient country at a presentation Tuesday in the Lory
“I think one of the biggest problems is that everyone is in
emergency mode. They have to shift their focus to long-term goals,”
Ahmad said to a crowd of 25 to 30 people.
Ahmad is a CSU alumnus who specializes in infrastructure
development. In addition to working with Afghanistan’s government,
he has also worked with the World Bank, an organization that fights
poverty in developing countries.
Ahmad’s last assignment was to review technical assistance and
fund distribution in Afghanistan, where he worked mostly with the
economic development and reconstruction program.
He described the challenges that the Afghan government is facing
and what is being done to meet those challenges in his
presentation, called “Reconstruction of Afghanistan – Needs,
Ongoing Programs and Challenges.”
One of the biggest problems with the Afghanistan economy, in
Ahmad’s opinion, is the country’s dependence on drug
“Afghanistan has a large drug economy. Seventy-five percent of
the world’s opium is grown in Afghanistan. One of the biggest
challenges facing the country is how to change from an illegal drug
economy to a legal economy,” Ahmad said.
Afghanistan officials have enlisted the help of many outside
contractors to help solve this problem and rebuild the country.
“They don’t have a source of income right now. Most projects are
primarily donor-driven,” Ahmad said.
As a result, private contractors complete the job they are hired
to do without thinking about what is best for the country as a
whole, Ahmad said.
“The only way to overcome the problem is to get more Afghans
involved. Too many contractors are not working together,” he
He encouraged audience members to ask questions throughout his
Among those in the audience was Daryl Simons, one of Ahmad’s
professors when he attended CSU and a former associate dean for
“It is satisfying to see he has succeeded in a career in World
Bank. We’ve stayed in touch. I went to China on assignment from
him,” Simons said.
Christina Farhart, a junior political science and psychology
double major, attended Ahmad’s presentation to collect information
for a paper she is writing for an honors class.
“The presentation was very helpful. The information he presented
is in accordance with other research I’ve done on this topic,”
Farhart said. “It is interesting to see the perspective of someone
who has been participating in building infrastructures in
Ahmad ended by painting a picture of the critical junction he
believes Afghanistan is in.
“Today Afghanistan is at a political and cultural crossroad. If
this doesn’t succeed I’m scared to think of what might happen,”
Ahmad said. “Their society has been subject to turmoil and
destruction and are just now being brought back into mainstream