If you are in the construction and security businesses and looking for work, Afghanistan is the place you need to check into. For more information and facts, read our guide…
The infrastructue of Afghanistan (roads, public services like water electricity and schools) has been almost destroyed in several regions of Afghanistan by the war. In areas untouched by the wars from 1979 to the present, there has been little or no modernization.
Few Natural Resources
Afghanistan is a poor country and has very few of the natural resources with which to build modern facilities. Cement, wood, steel and other materials have to be imported, and then there are few engineers who know what to do with it. This being the case, there are literally hundreds of foreign companies operating in Afghanistan.
Barriers for Foreign Construction Companies
As one bad apple spoils the whole barrel, a few unethical foreign construction companies have left the Afghans with a bitter taste. There have been instances of things being poorly constructed and other instances of graft. Several companies have won contracts from government sources, hired Afghan sub contractors and then left the country owing millions in unpaid wages. This has led to an attitude that the Afghans want foreign countries out.
This would lead to the infrastructure staying very much the way it is- non existent or in ill repair. It would also look as if western countries have deserted Afghanistan and would lead to renewed support of the Taliban. This situation needs to be handled with care but handled rather quickly as the U.S. draws down forces with a goal of having all combat troops out of Afghanistan by2014.
Security companies on the other hand are booming and look to be continuing in their growth. There are right now upwards of twenty five foreign security companies working in Afghanistan with the promise of more to come. The reason is simple. Local police and military have not yet been highly enough trained to insure that Afghans are safe, especially if they are important Afghans like government officials.
That is not to mention that all the hundreds of foreign construction companies hire the security companies. They are hired to protect their employees, offices, equipment and employee homes. Without the private security, all foreigners would be prime targets for kidnapping and murder. One of the major U.S. firms supplying security is DynCorp which has U.N. approval. There are however many of these security companies that do not have U.N. sanction. Some of these get contracts by low balling bids and actually hiring local unqualified workers for security jobs. These people often do not get a living wage, leading to Afghans again wanting foreign companies to get out.
Where this will end is anyone’s guess. One thing is for sure however. Foreign countries have to do a better job of public relations in Afghanistan, or it will end poorly.