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Cablegate: National Economic Advisor Ahadi Outlines His Plans And

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PP RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHBUL #0512/01 0411226
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101226Z FEB 10 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5512
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 000512

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON PGOV AF
SUBJECT: NATIONAL ECONOMIC ADVISOR AHADI OUTLINES HIS PLANS AND
REQUESTS U.S. SUPPORT FOR STAFFING

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1. (SBU) SUMMARY: President Karzai's newly named National Economic
Advisor (NEA), Dr. Anwar ul-Haq Ahadi, discussed his new role with
Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs
Ambassador Tony Wayne and Treasury Attache on February 7 and
requested Embassy and other donor assistance to help him staff his
office. Ahadi is focused on developing a functioning structure to
advise President Karzai on economic affairs and carry out
inter-ministerial coordination. Ahadi believes his office is better
suited for inter-ministerial coordination than the proposed cluster
ministers. Ambassador Wayne encouraged Ahadi to use the upcoming
Kabul Conference to demonstrate his office's role in economic
coordination. He stressed that all salary payments must run through
the Ministry of Finance per a recent presidential decree. Observing
that the Embassy is reviewing technical support for Office of the
President, Ambassador Wayne mentioned that Ahadi may wish to seek
support from the new Civilian Technical Assistance Program (CTAP),
for which AID will provide up to $30 million to the Government of
Afghanistan for hiring non-Afghan advisors. END SUMMARY.

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ROLE OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC ADVISOR
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2. (SBU) Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs
Wayne and Treasury Attache met with former Finance Minister Ahadi on
February 7 to discuss his new role as President Karzai's National
Economic Advisor (NEA). Ahadi began the meeting noting that Ishaq
Nadiri established the office of the National cand
work plans to monitor implementation in key line ministries. He
claimed that this role could not be adequately addressed by the
Ministry of Finance, which is overstretched with other budgetary
burdens and cannot carry out the necessary analysis. He wants the
NEA office to develop projects to support those policies and then
allocate budget resources. NEA would also develop new projects on
an annual basis in coordination with the Ministry of Economy.

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CLUSTER CONCERNS
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6. (SBU) Ahadi expressed concern over the "clusters" approach
presented by GIRoA at the London Conference, arguing that the tasks
were confusing and personality-driven and that it makes little sense
to have the Ministry of Mines coordinate the Ministry of Public
Works, for example. Ahadi said he would raise his concerns with
President Karzai in the coming days. Ambassador Wayne agreed that
the clustering concept was based on the strong capacities and
personalities of the lead ministers and mentioned a recent World
Bank study, which argued that clustering had not succeeded in many
places and requires a lot of investment in a robust coordinating
mechanism to function properly.

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7. (SBU) Ahadi requested Embassy assistance to provide salary
support to properly staff his office. Specifically, he sought
senior advisors to focus on the domestic national economy and a
development economist to cover broader donor assistance and
coordination issues. Ahadi also wants to hire several local experts
to work on specific clusters/sectors which would require salary
support equivalent to what is available to the Ministry of Finance,
Commerce, and Central Bank. Ambassador Wayne pledged to ask USAID
to meet with him about possible to support the NEA office. He also
suggested that Ahadi undertake a coordinated approach to donors and
that he look closely at the official staffing pattern for his office
especially given the recent presidential decree that any salary
payments need to go through the Finance Ministry.

EIKENBERRY

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