• KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01179 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00209 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09364 -0.32%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 159

Large Bribes Being Extorted from Graduates of Foreign Universities in Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan citizens graduating from foreign universities, are currently required to undergo a complex process to have their  diplomas recognized in their home country. A source in the Main Department of Education of Lebap told Radio Azatlyk that Turkmenistan citizens graduating  from pedagogical universities in CIS countries are obliged to enrol in a month-long advanced training course at the Pedagogical Institute in Turkmenabad to nostrify (recognize university qualifications) their diplomas and moreover, provide 17 references. According to graduates, the process also involves the extortion of bribes. Hakberdi, a Russian language teacher from Turkmenabad who underwent the diploma recognition process about five years ago, explained that the size of the bribe depends on the influential status of whoever is engaged to help. "From 2018 to 2019, the bribe could reach 10-15 thousand dollars. If you have an acquaintance in the ministry, the bribe will be smaller, but can rise if intermediaries are involved." In addition, when attempting to get their diplomas recognized, graduates can fall prey to fraudsters who promising help, take their money and disappear. In parallel with the season of diploma nostrification, the process of submitting documents and sitting exams for admission to foreign universities continues. Exams are taken online and because of internet issues, this can create new problems. "Since the speed of the Wi-Fi signal at home is inadequate," reported a resident of Dianev, "applicants from across the districts gather at the Turkmentelecom internet cafe in Turkmenabad but there are not enough computers and often queues from 6 a.m."

Will Kazakhstan Manage to Save the National Fund?

Experts report that Kazakhstan's National Fund has seen cumulative withdrawals of $100 billion over the past decade. The sovereign wealth fund, managed by the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan, has often been used to meet state needs. Despite this, with the National Fund for Children program set to launch in 2024, President Tokayev has instructed an increase in its assets. The National Fund was established in 2000 by a decree from former President Nursultan Nazarbayev. It consolidates state assets held in the national bank account of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The fund's income is derived from two sources: tax receipts from the oil and gas sector and earnings from managing its assets. Starting in 2024, the National Fund for Children program will receive 50% of the fund's annual income. Business analyst Abzal Narymbetov explained that the fund's initial influx came from the sale of a 5% stake in the Tengiz oil field for $660 million in 2001. At its inception, the fund was intended to benefit future generations. However, various crises and management errors have frequently forced the government to dip into what is often called the "people's piggy bank." Likening the National Fund to a similar structure in Norway, Narymbetov states that the fund's accumulation peaked at more than $70 billion in 2014. "Since then, the NF has diverted money to 'urgent current needs,' such as bailing out commercial banks, supporting national companies, and filling holes in the state budget. At the moment, less than $60 billion remains in the fund. Kazakhstan began accumulating oil money with the production of 0.8 million barrels in 2001. Norwegian and Kazakh oil production has been in the same range of 1.8-2.0 million barrels for the last eight years. In other words, Kazakhstan and Norway have been producing in the same range for the last eight years; however, we spend significantly more. "For example, the Norwegian Petroleum Fund (renamed the state pension fund) was established by the government in 1990. Money was first invested in 1996, but the first figures that can be traced are $23 billion in 1998. The oil money, in my opinion, has been wisely invested in different assets. As a result, it has reached a record level of $1.4 trillion today," said Narymbetov. The analyst pointed to research by economists indicating that if money from the National Fund of Kazakhstan had not been used for current spending needs, it would now exceed $150 billion. He also cited a study suggesting that if oil prices drop to $30 per barrel, the fund's reserves could be depleted within five years. Twenty years ago, Kazakhstan had high expectations for the National Fund, hoping it would act as a financial savior during crises and provide support for young citizens. In 2022, President Tokayev announced plans to increase the National Fund's assets to $100 billion. "Everything that rightfully belongs to the people of Kazakhstan will serve their interests. For this purpose, we will ensure effective fund management and enhance its investment income,"...

Uzbekistan: Bukhara Administration Denies Relocation of “Eternal Bukhara”

Previously, The Times of Central Asia reported in an article titled "Land Cleared for Tourism next to Old Bukhara; UNESCO Urges Pause" that the construction of "Eternal Bukhara," a tourist facility in the Bukhara region of Uzbekistan, had sparked protests from locals and UNESCO alike. Recently, rumors spread on social media claiming that the "Eternal Bukhara" project is proceeding on the city's outskirts despite public objections. However, the Bukhara city administration has now provided official information to clarify the situation. According to the regional administration, these reports are false. They assert that the construction of the cultural ethnographic park "Eternal Bukhara" is progressing systematically. Most of the old and dilapidated buildings in the area have been dismantled, and the construction site is now 90% ready. Additionally, the Bukhara regional administration have stated that previous dismantling work was completed without affecting the population or surrounding structures, whilst adhering to technical safety regulations. Nearly 70% of the work has reportedly already been completed. The administration also noted that the project documents for "Eternal Bukhara" are being finalized in collaboration with renowned historians, scientists, cultural heritage experts, and international project organizations.

Over 200 UNDP Projects Implemented in Kazakhstan

During a meeting between Kazakhstan's Vice Prime Minister, Nurlan Baibazarov and Katarzhina Vaviernia, permanent representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Kazakhstan, discussions focused on UNDP projects aimed to promote the economic development of UN member states. To date, over  200 projects worth over $200 million have been implemented in the country with support from the government of Kazakhstan, public organizations, the business sector, UN agencies, and other partners.  Broad ranging, the initiatives include the development of small and medium businesses, green energy, agriculture, and ecotourism. Nurlan Baibazarov  noted that Kazakhstan is ready to present the third Voluntary National Review on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals at the High-Level Political Forum in New York in 2025 and stated: "Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is a national priority for Kazakhstan. We pay great attention to discussing the implementation of the goals at different platforms to find optimal solutions for our state's sustainable development. The voluntary review will objectively reflect the country's main achievements, challenges, and emerging problems." In addition, it was noted that Kazakhstan is interested in strengthening cooperation with UNDP, and in particular,  the successful implementation of the UNDP Country Program for 2021-2025.

Turkmen Watermelons Struggle to Compete with Iranian Imports

Chronicles Turkmenistan reports that Iranian watermelons are now cheaper than those produced locally. Turkmen farmers were encouraged to plant watermelons on leased lands on the assurance that the crops would be irrigated at the state's expense. However, given the high volume of water required to cultivate the fruit and the need for farmers to irrigate their crops twice per season, only those with the means, could afford to pay for their own pumps. As stated in the publication's report, “-That- was not enough to get a good harvest. Also, the cost of production, including irrigation and other costs, was higher than expected." The vast stocks watermelons imported from Iran to markets  in Meri and Lebap Velayats are significantly cheaper than local produce, selling at  4–5 manats (TMT) ($1.14–1.43) per 6 to 9 kilogram compared to  1.50 TMT ($0.43) per kilogram or an average of  7-8 TMT ($2– 2.29) per Turkmen melon. As a result, Turkmen farmers struggle to sell their produce and are suffering significant losses.

UNDP Launches Course on Gender Issues in Turkmenistan

Turkmenportal has reported that the United Nations Development Programme is launching a specialized online course on gender issues for Turkmenistan's civil servants. The course will cover topics such as basic gender definitions, international standards, gender in public policy, gender analysis tools, local gender stereotypes, strategies for achieving gender equality, national frameworks, the prevention of gender-based violence, and engaging men in efforts to promote gender equality. Training will be offered in English, Russian, and Turkmen, and will include texts, quizzes, presentations, and other content to aimed at providing the necessary knowledge and skills to promote gender equality in the workplace. The course is expected to provide civil servants with a comprehensive understanding of gender equality concepts and international standards, enhance their ability to integrate gender aspects into public policy, and enable them to actively promote gender-responsible governance. As Tomica Paovic, the UNDP Resident Representative in Turkmenistan, noted, mainstreaming gender issues and awareness into civil servants' work is crucial to promoting equality, enhancing policy effectiveness, and ensuring sustainable development. "We are confident that this important initiative, supported by the UNDP's partner, the Government of Canada, will strengthen the country's capacity for gender equality and women's empowerment, in line with the National Action Plans on Human Rights and Gender Equality in Turkmenistan," Paovic stated.