Afghanistan’s economy suffered major ups and downs, malaise and growth after the country achieved its independence from the British in 1919 under the leadership of Afghanistan’s King Amanullah.
Historians and field analysts said that during this period, Afghanistan lost many opportunities in the economic sector despite the country tested a wide range of economic systems but none of them proved helpful to move the country in the category of economically-developed nations of the world.
According to the Ministry of Economy, there were certain factors that have been undermining overshadowing Afghanistan’s economic opulence and economic sufficiency mainly security issues and lack of sustainable economic infrastructures.
Analysts said that despite some measures were taken during this period towards reshaping Afghanistan’s economic scenario, but none proved helpful to ensure a vibrant and emerging economy in Afghanistan.
After independence, King Amanullah had undertaken a wide range of economic reforms which includes the development of the customs system and taxation policy to help the country reduce its dependency on other countries.
A number of scholars and historians view King Amanullah's economic reforms policy as important to the country's economic prosperity but say they have been challenged by diverse domestic and foreign circles.
Work started on Afghanistan’s basic economic infrastructures during Nadir Khan and King Mohammad Zahir within the framework of the mixed economic system and most of the planning was carried out during Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan as premier.
At the time of Daud Khan, planning was made for the construction of several dams in the country and also the government during those started public-private partnership program in which there 51 shares from the government and 49 percent from the private sector.
During the same period, the banking system also developed vastly in Afghanistan and the country started experimenting its first banking service.
“Work was done on the same issues including infrastructures, several dams were built including transport systems such as Salang, some other places like Mahipar and other things,” Economy Minister Mustafa Mastoor.
“The Afghan Milli Bank was established in 1311 (1932) by some businessmen under the leadership of Mr. Zabuli and the creation of this bank brought a major dynamism in Afghanistan’s banking system,” said Taj Mohammad Akbar, the former CEO of Pashtany Bank.
With the end of the Communist era and the beginning of the Mujahideen government, Afghanistan entered into economic recession, this phase continued until 2000 and the beginning of the interim government.
“After the downfall of the communist regime, irregularities emerged between Rabbani’s government and his colleague but the Taliban were a corrupt government and they had no any economic program,” said Habibullah Rafi, member of the academy of Science.
Following the creation of elected governments in 2001, the free market economy was introduced in Afghanistan.
Although billions of dollars poured in the country over the past 18 years, Afghanistan still remains dependent on foreign aid.
Statistics show that the country's economic growth is currently living at around 2 percent, with unemployment and inadequate living in the country at around thirty to forty percent and at about 52 percent of the country's population live below the poverty line.
Economists say that, in view of the problems the country faces today in various sectors of the economy, the previous Afghan governments failed in recent years to outline any working economic policy to ensure the sustainability of Afghanistan’s economy.