October 30, 2017

October 30, 2017–After four years, the Capacity Building and Change Management II Program in Afghanistan has concluded. See what we accomplished in this handy infographic.


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March 7, 2017

Let Women Show You Who They Are, and Change Will Happen
By Victoria Barone

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Tarana Amini, the human resources manager for IESC’s Assistance in Building Afghanistan by Developing Enterprises Program in Kabul. Tarana has been with the ABADE Program since it started in 2012. In 2016, IESC honored her with the Tarek Nabhan International Achievement Award, which recognizes team members in the field who…

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March 3, 2017

Workforce Development for Women in Nigeria Requires a Cultural Shift

By Udunopa Abalu

One day while visiting my native country Nigeria over the holidays, I was out with some friends in Abuja, and I saw a large billboard advertising Maggi seasoning. The Nigerian-made bouillon cubes are often crumbled and sprinkled into dishes to make them more flavorful.

This billboard showed the image of a proud and smiling Nigerian woman on one…

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March 2, 2017

By Tom Miller

At IESC, we work around the world to strengthen the private sector, guided by a mission to improve people’s lives by expanding access to economic opportunity’for everyone. In many of the places we work, women still struggle to achieve full participation in the economy, and therefore have a hard time improving their lives and those of their families. To exclude the talent, labor, intelligence, and creativity of half the…

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October 12, 2016

Amina Haidari coaches her civil servant counterpart in Kandahar DAIL.

For civil servants at the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture in Kandahar, learning new skills was an eye-opening experience.
Every morning, Amina Haidary arrives at work at the provincial agriculture office in Kandahar, where she has worked since 2012. Among her 76 colleagues, she is the only woman.

Haidary, who specializes in finance and administration,…

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September 21, 2016

Zakia Roshan is operations manager at Mazatoo Food Production, where sales have increased more than fivefold since the company received support from the ABADE Program.

Onsite production brings new jobs and a fivefold increase in sales
Most Afghans enjoy candy with their tea every day, so the market for the confection is strong. Strong enough for one candy-importing company to try producing it onsite.

For many years,…

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May 6, 2016

CBCMP-II installed solar panels in three offices in Nangarhar Province

For civil servants working in the local offices of the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, there are many challenges to their daily work. A stable electricity supply is one of the main obstacles that keeps them from providing good services to Afghan farmers and herders.

To tackle this issue, the Capacity Building and Change…

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April 1, 2016

ABADE’s Chief of Party awarded the three MAIL civil servants certificates of appreciation for their assistance.

By Emily Harper, with reporting by Andja Cosic 

Issues of global development do not exist as discrete, independent problems. The global problem of tuberculosis, for example, is more than a single bacterium and its associated illness.  Tuberculosis as a development issue involves health care delivery…

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March 7, 2016

Finding a Voice, Finding a Path
by Esther Lee

Najeba, a civil servant at the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock in Kabul, Afghanistan.

As a recent transplant to the D.C area, I can’t help but feel like a small fish in a big pond from time to time. This city attracts the best and the brightest. It can be ruthlessly competitive ‘a harsh reality for someone from a relatively small town where, to a degree, I…

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March 3, 2016

Saluting Unsung Champions, This International Women’s Day and Beyond
By IESC President and CEO Tom Miller

Dr. Shahla, gender director of IESC’s CBCMP-II Program.

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day. In many of the countries where we work, March 8 is a true holiday. Women receive flowers, gifts, and other expressions of honor and appreciation, and the IESC field offices participate in these celebratory…

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November 4, 2015

Sohail Shariq (center) organized a fundraising effort to buy winter prep kits for local Afghan children. He is pictured here with some of the children who received warm winter clothing.


The winter temperature in Kabul can get pretty cold, around 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and down into the teens at night. For the ABADE Program team, the approaching winter is a concern. Not for themselves,…

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October 16, 2015

Employees of the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock “clock in” for the day on a handwritten ledger. Photo: Noor Seddiq


By Leigh Stephens and Lisa Chensvold

For the staff of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock in Kabul, ‘clocking in’ to work each day was a burdensome, time-consuming endeavor that involved standing in line for a long as 45 minutes to sign in on a…

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August 24, 2015

Business owners and officials gathered in Herat to celebrate successful investment partnerships that are fueling private sector growth in the region. The August 18 event was hosted by the Assistance in Building Afghanistan by Developing Enterprises Program, a USAID-funded program that catalyzes business development through public-private alliances that facilitate the expansion and diversification of investment partners’ production…

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June 17, 2015

One woman’s journey from fearful speaker to confident leader

Najeba Karimi. Photo: USAID CBCMP-II

With a largely agricultural economy, Afghanistan is working to build up its institutions to better support the sector and the nation’s food security. In the process, women are finding new opportunities to develop professional skills and career paths.

When Najeba Karemi accepted a job with the Ministry of…

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March 10, 2015

Masuma Hossaini works out at her Alzahra Fitness Sports Club.
Photo: USAID/ABADE/Sohrab Samanian

Sports and fitness buff Masuma Hossaini is determined to educate fellow Afghan women and girls on the health benefits of staying fit through exercising and to provide a safe environment where they can work out.

‘Taking care of one’s health is not a luxury; it is a necessity,’ says Hossaini, owner…

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February 12, 2015

IESC implements the ABADE Program, USAID’s flagship enterprise development initiative in Afghanistan. A foundry, a handicrafts company, a women’s-only gym, and a media company are among the women- and youth-led businesses that the ABADE Program has helped to grow.

IESC implements the ABADE Program, USAID’s flagship enterprise…

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September 15, 2014

Sept. 2014’Rising demand for tasty meals served quickly has paid off for at least one small business owner in Herat, Afghanistan.

Inspired by the success of his first Chipsi fast food restaurant, businessman Naeem Yusofi had been mulling over the possibility of opening a second location. IESC is implementing USAID’s Assistance in Building Afghanistan by Developing Enterprises Program, which helps small and medium enterprises expand. ABADE…

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March 19, 2014

Hakima had a great business idea ‘ to produce organic fertilizer on a commercial scale through vermicomposting, while promoting organic farming and training women to create their own nutrient-rich compost for kitchen gardens.

‘My husband and I had been discussing this idea for some time and were very eager to get started. Afghanistan is an agricultural economy and is heavily dependent on imported fertilizers, seeds and other agricultural…

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January 23, 2014

IESC is the primary implementing organization for the Capacity Building and Change Management Program (CBCMP) for the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock in Afghanistan. The program was designed to help the Ministry modernize and improve its administrative capability so farmers receive better services. Currently in its fourth year, the CBCMP is focusing most of its activities on assistance to Afghanistan provinces.

Jawzjan is…

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April 12, 2012

Thousands Attend International Agricultural Fair Connecting Afghan Farmers to Markets and Technology
USDA’s Capacity Building and Change Management Program, implemented by IESC under the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA), helped Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) organize an agriculture fair and commemorate the ancient Afghan tradition of farmers celebrating ‘Nawroz,’ the onset of Spring.


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