Faculty of Public Policy and Administration of Balkh University inaugurated with German support
Afghan and German government representatives officially inaugurated newly built and equipped facilities for the Faculty of Public Policy and Administration of the Balkh University on Thursday. The construction as well as equipment for the facilities cost AFN 224 million and were fully funded by the German Government. The inauguration ceremony was attended by the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Prof. Osman Babury, the Special Representative of the Federal German Government for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Dr. Michael Koch, the Deputy Governor of Balkh Province, Zaheer Wahdat, the Director General of the Afghanistan Civil Service Institute, Farhad Osmani and the Chancellor of Balkh University, Prof. Mukamel Alokozai.
“This new home for the Public Policy and Administration Faculty of Balkh University is yet another symbol of the long standing academic cooperation between Germany and Afghanistan. The graduates will make public administration more effective and professionalize the administrative services to the Afghan citizens”, said the Deputy Minister of Higher Education at the opening ceremony.
Ambassador Koch, while expressing his happiness about the progress of the project, reminded the students of their responsibility: “As bachelors of Public Administration you will and should have an important role to ensure Good Governance in Afghanistan – ensuring that the State government is both just and transparent.” Technical advice to the Afghan universities is being provided in close collaboration with the University of Potsdam. Since 2012, German professors and lecturers have been offering coaching in Afghanistan at the beginning of each semester, helping Afghan professors to prepare their lectures. Annual summer and winter academies have been held in Ankara (Turkey) and Delhi (India) in order to deepen the knowledge of the Afghan academic staff and to start an academic network with their Indian and Turkish colleagues.
On behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been working with the Afghan Government since 2012 to support five Afghan universities to set up public policy and administration faculties offering a Bachelor’s degree in public administration. By 2014, just over 2,000 Afghan students were already studying public administration. Women make up some 15 % of all students.
The new faculty building is designed for around 800 students and their lecturers, professors as well as the necessary administrative staff. Following state-of-the-art architecture the new faculty building offers two lecture halls for 195 students each, 14 seminar rooms, three IT-Training labs as well as 41 offices. A library is situated in an own wing of the building, offering enough space for a productive learning environment. In the winter period a central heating system will warm the building and a desalting plant delivers water from the extra drilled well at the new campus. As every floor in the new building can be reached with an elevator there are no more boundaries for students with disabilities.
The German Government is supporting Afghanistan in developing a more efficient public administration system capable of providing citizen-oriented services. One specific measure to achieve this is to strengthen and improve the quality of training in public administration. Together with the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education, the program “Strengthening administrative training in Afghanistan” lays the necessary groundwork for standardized initial and continuing training for public sector professionals in Afghanistan.
Also, on behalf of the German Government, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH supports programs in planning and constructing infrastructure projects, particularly in the areas of transport, health, legal security, and education. The Competence Unit for Construction in Afghanistan advises programs on all construction-related issues, from planning and preparation to implementation of construction measures that form part of programs.
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