Australia supporting mining governance in Afghanistan
24 March 2011
Australia will share its mining expertise with 6 Afghan public servants as part of Australia's commitment to strengthen the Afghan Government.
Today, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd met with the Afghan Minister of Mines, Mr Wahidullah Shahrani, who welcomed the scholarships that will enhance Afghan mining skills and knowledge.
"The surge in the Afghan mining sector has enormous potential to improve the country's economic sustainability," Mr Rudd said.
"Australia's expertise in mining exploration, extraction, processing, transport, environmental protection and legislation has Australia well placed to offer specialised education in this area."
Successful candidates will commence their post-graduate scholarships at Australian universities in 2012.
Mr Rudd said it is hoped the Afghan public sector staff will return to senior managerial positions in the Afghan Government, where they will design and implement national mining policy.
"These new scholarships build on the efforts of Afghans such as Ms Ghazaal Habibyar who has previously won an Australia Awards scholarship. Ms Habibyar completed a Masters Degree in International and Development Economics in December 2009 at the Australian National University and upon returning to Afghanistan, became the Director of Policy in the Afghan Ministry of Mines.
"Building skills through higher education is one of the best development investments we can make," Mr Rudd said.
More than 100 Australian Development Scholarships have been offered to Afghans since 2009.
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