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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Can Afghans Profit from Natural Wealth?

August 24th, 2010
03:09 PM ET
An aerial view of part of Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan.
An aerial view of part of Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan.

In the mountains of Bamyan Province, 80 miles from Kabul, the Hajigak Iron Deposit is said to be the largest known undeveloped iron ore deposit in the world.

In the mountain range stretching 15 miles there are almost 2 billion metric tons of amazingly pure iron ore.

This September, the government of Afghanistan will offer a tender for mining rights here hoping to attract international companies.

On Connect the World, at 2000 GMT, we look at the vast array of minerals Afghanistan has and a recent discovery: 1.8 billion barrels of crude oil, plus natural gas.

The Minister of Mines says it could be as much as three trillion. And only 30% of the country has been explored.

But can the Afghan government assure its people will reap the benefits the potential benefits? Or will this siphon into the hands of corrupt groups and government leaders?

Leave us all your thoughts on this subject in our comments section below and we'll feature some of them on tonight's program.

soundoff (One Response)
  1. Robert R Kinnear

    What took you so long to ask the question about why Afghanistan was invaded?

    If you care to research every conflict/invasion over the last 100 years each one can be boiled down to access to hydrocarbons and/or minerals.

    Notice the current finds are based on Soviet surveys after their 1979 invasion.

    Why was the Vietnam propelled on to the world stage despite JFK wishing to withdraw? Oil of course. Standard Oil (SO or Esso) was doing seismic up to US escape. The Soviet exploited those resources, VN having the 3rd largest reserves in SE Asia.

    Falklands War, see Desire Oil, Rockhopper, FOGL recently.

    Angola, hydrocarbons, gold and diamonds

    Mozambique? Take a look what is happening there now regarding oil and gas exploration.

    Uganda, Rwanda....Tullow Oil

    Iraq... Remember George W Bush when asked if Iraq would be asked to pay for the war he said, "Why? They've got oil"

    Take another look at Oliver Stone's movie 'JFK' and refit that expose to any major conflict. There may be a delay of 20 – 30 years as political stability, infrastructure and technology to catch up.

    August 24, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Reply

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