Embassy of Afghanistan hosts Nawrooz celebration in partnership with USAID and The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN)
March 23, 2018
“Nawrooz Mubarak” could be heard throughout the room as 250 guests filled the Embassy of Afghanistan to celebrate the Afghan new year. The Embassy was honored to cohost this celebration with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), two organizations who have contributed immensely to the progress and development in Afghanistan. Last night’s celebration signified “new beginnings, a fresh start, and hope for the future,” said Afghan Ambassador to the US, H.E. Hamdullah Mohib. He continued, “We are celebrating Nawrooz and the accomplishments between AKDN and USAID partnerships…we thank them for the work they have done in Afghanistan.”
USAID Administrator Mark Green, former U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania and retired Congressman, discussed the organization’s important work in Afghanistan in the past 17 years. He said, “USAID is deeply committed to the people of Afghanistan and its work with the government in years to come. There’s much work to do, and so much to accomplish.” Guests also heard from Dr. Rajiv Shah, President of the Rockefeller Foundation and former USAID Administrator from 2010 to 2015, who talked about the important connection between USAID and AKDN and their impactful work in Afghanistan. Emphasizing the importance of the partnership and describing AKDN’s dedication in Afghanistan, CEO Aleem Walji said, “Since 2002, we’ve committed over $1 billion of resources with our partners – the Network’s integrated approach combines economic, social, and cultural inputs. Its projects span over 240 urban areas and small towns in the country’s 34 provinces. In social development and humanitarian work, we’ve worked in 61 districts in 8 provinces impacted over 3 million people.” Last but not least, Michael Brownrigg and James Bullion, two Impact Investors from TOTAL Impact Capital discussed the importance of the private sector to support development specifically the power of private investment in creating jobs, goods, services, taxes, and a higher standard of living.
Following the keynote speakers, spouse of Ambassador Mohib, Mrs. Lael Mohib, presented the Haft Mawa, a traditional Nawrooz dish made of dried fruits and nuts. Guests were then treated to a performance by the Silk Road Dance Company.
Click here to watch remarks from the keynote speakers.