Finnish attitude is valued in Afghanistan

Finland participates in supporting Afghanistan’s development from a country destroyed by wars and conflicts into a democratic and economically stable state. Afghanistan has a lot of underground natural resources and GTK has participated in improving the country’s ability to exploit them in cooperation with Afghan geologists and geophysicists. The project is a part of Finland’s development cooperation in Afghanistan.

“Finnish expertise in geology and unassertive, humane attitude is highly valued,” says Olli Ruohomäki (in the photo), the responsible official from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs that funds the project.

The competence of GTK’s specialists and their personal pedagogical approach has received a lot of praise in Afghanistan. “GTK’s employees have gained the trust of the local geological community and even the ministries,” Ruohomäki explains.

Geologists from Afghanistan have participated in field work in Finland and studied, for example, the latest drilling methods. At GTK, the project is led by Senior Scientist Heikki Vanhala.

More cooperation in the future?

We believe that minerals will help Afghanistan to recover. Afghanistan’s mineral resources include iron, cobalt, copper, lithium and gold, and the country also has oil and natural gas reserves. Due to unrest and lack of infrastructure they have not yet benefited the people of Afghanistan.

Getting the mining industry started requires also modernisation of research equipment. We believe that investors interested in the mining industry will come now that the war is over.

The five-year development project ends next year.

“However, Finland and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs want to be present in Afghanistan in some way in the future as well. If geological expertise is required, GTK is a natural partner for us,” Ruohomäki says.