In nearly a decade, the U.S. authorities has spent $488 million in assistance to Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP), but by no means made the legitimization of the mostly illegal artisanal mining a priority. Refinery In full disclosure, I watched the botched attempts to kick-start the Afghan mining sector between 2011 and 2014, as a guide to the U.S. authorities and later whilst working for a company focused on the pursuit of mining projects in Afghanistan. I witnessed first-hand the poor enterprise practices in MoMP and western donor failure to carry its Afghan companions, on the time, to account. Moreover, I saw how most of the bigger mining projects never made it beyond the tender process because the U.S. authorities determined to pull the plug from contract implementing/monitoring applications that helped develop capacity within the MoMP. With out this funding, the Afghans have little indigenous capability to difficulty/monitor mining contracts efficiently, transparently, or responsibly.
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