There is no denying that the road ahead for Afghanistan, even when a new president takes office and the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) gets signed, will continue to be fraught with tremendous challenges for the foreseeable future. However, people like Lotfullah Nazafizada, Afghan 21 Class of 2011, offer reasons for hope.
Lotfullah is the Head of Current Affairs at Afghanistan’s first 24 hour news channel, TOLOnews. Lotfullah notes that with close to 68 percent of the population under the age of 25, the Afghan 21 program provides a critical platform for professionals from different walks of lives to join hands, build networks, make important decision responsibly as a group, and convey their collective voice to decision-makers. He recently spoke at a TEDxKabul event, in which he mentions our work.
In spite of the pervasion of several issues in the country, Lotfullah’s optimism doesn’t waver. Rather, it is increasing because of the level of engagement, interactions and maturity he sees, particularly among the proactive youth. He commends youth networks such as AYLI as “the strongest foundation we can make for our future.” He also advances the need for independent decision making. Regardless of the decision taken, for the people of Afghanistan to finally be the masters of their own destiny is in itself a success.
Speaking of young Afghans taking charge, Ahmad Shuja’s company Impassion Afghanistan developed a public service tool http://www.votehere.af to help voters find their nearest polling center during voting on April 5th, which polling centers had been affected due to security concerns. Shuja is Co-founder and Partner at Impassion Afghanistan and a member of Afghan 21’s 2013 class.