FEATURE STORY January 29, 2019

To Aim Higher, Afghanistan’s Central Bank Bet on Upskilling Employees

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Through enhancing capacity of its staff, Da Afghanistan Bank is now able to effectively implement monetary policies and regulations, and in ensuring transparency and stability in Afghanistan’s financial system.

Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank


Story Highlights

  • More than a quarter of employees at Afghanistan’s central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank, are pursuing a university degree or professional certification under a project to build the bank’s capacity.
  • By investing in staff skills and knowledge, the central bank is strengthening its regulatory capacity and its ability to fulfill its role in implementing monetary policy and ensuring transparency and stability in Afghanistan’s financial system.
  • The Financial Sector Rapid Response Project, supported by the International Development Association, is assisting the central bank in this effort.

KABUL CITY – Everyday, Madina Rasouli processes employee salaries and handles pension-related documents at the central bank. The work is neither complex nor difficult for Rasouli after four years working at the Human Resources department at Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB).

Rasouli, however, has not been able to move on in her career or apply for better positions because of her lack of qualification. She has a two-year diploma in management and had been unable to go further in university because she could not afford it.  “I was always looking for an opportunity to get my BBA [Bachelor of Business Administration] one day,” says the 27-year-old.

The opportunity came when she was selected by DAB to pursue a BBA course at Kardan Private University under the Financial Sector Rapid Response Project (FSRRP). “,” says Rasouli happily.

Rasouli is one of some 700 DAB employees who have been given the opportunity to study for a bachelor’s or master’s degree at university or pursue professional and technical courses under the DAB Talent Development Program started by FSRRP in February 2018. These employees will pursue professional courses related to their work, such as Certified Internal Audit, Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialist, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, and Certified Expert in Financial Inclusion Policy.

FSRRP is implemented by DAB, with funding support from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries. .

 


""One of the ways to tackle corruption and work at international standards is [by] investing in capacity building to equip all employees with much needed up-to-date skills.""
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Zabihullah Roohi
team leader, DAB internal audit department

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With support from the Financial Sector Rapid Response Project, 700 employees of Afghanistan's central bank have been given the opportunity to study for a bachelor’s or master’s degree at university or pursue professional and technical courses.

Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank


Investing in People

DAB, with 2,500 employees in 51 branches across the country, is investing in its staff to develop their skills and improve the organization’s performance. The objective is to enable the central bank to play its role effectively in implementing monetary policies and regulations, and in ensuring transparency and stability in Afghanistan’s financial system.

“DAB is a technical and professional organization and we need to have professionals working here,” says Basharmal Pesarlai, DAB Human Resources Director. “ . We know its value and I am sure by the end, we will see its positive impact on our daily work.”

By implementing the project, , Pesarlai explains.

Asil Gul Totakhil, head of Internal Audits, agrees that the project is a significant move for a better future. “There was a huge need for professional certification at DAB. There is no one in our internal audit department who holds an internationally recognized professional certificate, like the Certified Internal Audit credential, and that is the harsh reality,” says Totakhil, who is pursuing a course himself and also encouraging his 44 colleagues in the department to do the same.

Zabihullah Roohi, 33, a team leader in the internal audit department, also believes capacity building is an effective approach to achieving long-term goals at DAB. “,” he says.


Fragile Financial System

With DAB as its backbone and support from the international community, Afghanistan’s financial system has come a long way since 2001.

Despite the progress, the country’s financial system is still fragile. “The financial sector is under huge pressure in Afghanistan and it is hard to grow. There are still gaps in terms of laws, regulations, technology, and capacity at DAB,” says Shoaib Ahmad Rahim, Director General for the Office of Financial Sector Strengthening Projects at DAB. “.”



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