On Thursday 26 November 2015, SASA organised its final 2015 edition of its informal Fika Without Borders South Asia series. This time the country in focus was Afghanistan. At the well-attended event, organised in collaboration with SASNET, Anders Fänge, one of Sweden’s foremost experts on Afghanistan, gave a talk entitled Afghanistan’s Classical Problem – A Functioning State, about Afghanistan’s history focusing on the problems which have been faced by different Afghan governments which have tried to build a state. See the poster. Venue: Basement International Relations Desk, Lund University, Stora Algatan 4, Lund.
It is the absence of a functioning state that is one of the main causes that the country has been affected by unrest and war during long periods since the founding of the nation 1747, and it remains so even today. Since 2001, after the collapse of the Taliban regime and the establishment of the Karzai government, Afghanistan has received billions of dollars aimed at assisting the country in military affairs, development and state building, but plans and ambitions have not been fulfilled. The Taliban insurgency is growing stronger, the new government has obvious difficulties in getting its act together, neighbouring states are interfering, and international military and development assistance are waning.
Anders Fänge has worked as a manager of the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan and has been a pioneer in developing its projects in agriculture, health care, and education. In addition he has been a driving force behind the functional nationwide school system in Afghanistan today. He has also been engaged in securing education for girls and women. In addition to Afghanistan, he has also worked over the past 30 years in Ethiopia for Save the Children, in Central Asia for the Red Cross, and in Somalia and the West Bank for the UN. He holds an honorary doctorate from Umeå University. Besides, Anders is a member of SASNET’s board.
After the lecture, Afghani home-made snacks were served. The delicious food items has been prepared by SASA board members anda couple of Afghani friends the night before in the kitchen of SASNET deputy director Lars Eklund and his wife Bubu.