As an important aspect of its Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) efforts in Afghanistan, CPAU organized and implemented a two-day conference and workshop to identify appropriate political and economic opportunities for vulnerable communities in order to prevent radicalization processes.
The event took place in Kandahar Province on April 21 and 23, 2016.
It has to be noted that political and economic factors can leave certain communities or individuals susceptible to radicalization and recruitment by violent extremists based on social marginalization, poor governance or denied basic services. Oftentimes, radical and extremist groups use these grievances to their advantage and fill the void by providing the communities concerned with basic civil services, including a form of governance, a political voice and a sense of cohesiveness and identity. In order to prevent the almost automatically ensuing recruitment process and the further alienation of the public from the GIRoA, it is of utmost importance for the central government – with the support of external actors such as international donors and aid agencies – to provide vulnerable communities with appropriate political and economic opportunities.
To identify local peculiarities in this context, CPAU gathered civil society members, government officials and other key stakeholders with different backgrounds in Kandahar to discuss current shortcomings and to jointly develop recommendations and solutions for the future. It has been realized that violence and extremism have a negative effect on a country’s economic development as it scares away investments, hampers general development and national and international trade. Moreover, violent extremism also destroys places of public gatherings and thereby alienates communities and prevents people from engaging socially.Addressing these challenges, it has been suggested to support families who lost their primary breadwinners due to insurgency attacks, to increase equal job opportunities free from corruption, gender or ethnic discrimination or nepotism, to enhance the possibilities for political participation and the freedom of expression. Finally, tackling the vast migration movement, it was recommended that educated Afghans should not leave their country but stay and support the development and progress of Afghanistan.