Mursal Amin was studying French Literature at Kabul University when she heard about the Afghanistan Institute of Banking and Finance (AIBF) from a friend. She had long dreamed of working in management and decided that AIBF could teach her the skills she needed. She sat for the entrance exam along with 600 other hopeful candidates, and was one of 100 who gained admission. In the course of her six months at the institute, Mursal studied human resources, banking, finance and accounting. She polished her computer skills and deepened her fluency in English. When she finished her studies at AIBF, Mursal was hired as an Executive Manager in the human resources department of the Ministry of Higher Education. Mursal shares with pride that she is the only staff member in her department who started the job fully skilled with no need for on-the-job training. She credits AIBF with helping her acquire these skills. Mursal is proud to have achieved her dream of a management position. Without a well-trained professional staff to meet the needs of an aspiring market economy, Afghanistan’s commercial banks and microfinance institutions have had to rely on international staff to fill professional positions in the industry. Harakat funding supported Da Afghanistan Bank to establish AIBF in 2009. The goal was to train employees of financial institutions in international banking practices, with the end goal of filling jobs in Afghanistan’s financial institutions with national staff. To date, AIBF has trained 5,028 bank and microfinance employees -- 3,782 male and 1,246 female. Seventy-five percent of AIBF graduates currently have jobs in financial institutions, filling positions previously occupied by international workers. AIBF believes that the skills acquired in these trainings and subsequently put to work in Afghanistan’s financial institutions are responsible for the reduction of non-performing loans from 48% to 5% between March 2011 and March 2012.

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