• KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

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Prominent Political Figure Akbarsho Iskandarov Detained in Tajikistan

The former Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Tajikistan, Akbarsho Iskandarov, has been detained in Dushanbe. During the wave of conflicts in the early 1990s, he took over as the Chairman of Parliament and served as Tajikistan's acting president. In recent years, he worked at the Institute of Philosophy, Political Science, and Law of the Academy of Sciences. Prior to this, for many years he served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Tajikistan to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia. The General Prosecutor's Office summoned Akbarsho Iskandarov for questioning on June 13 and 14, following which they did not release him. The reason he was interviewed and the grounds on which he has been detained are unknown. "Investigators of the General Prosecutor's Office questioned about 50 people during these days and released them on their recognizance, while Akbarsho Iskandarov was not released," a source stated. Officials and relatives of Akbarsho Iskandarov have refused to comment. Iskandarov was detained after MP Saidjafar Usmonzoda and former Foreign Minister Hamrokhon Zarifi were also held in custody. It is not known whether these detentions are related.

Time Spent by Tajikistan Citizens Sleeping, Eating and Working

The results of a study on time-budgeting by citizens of Tajikistan, conducted with support from the World Bank, was recently published by the Statistical Agency under the President of Tajikistan,. According to data, the first of its type to be recorded in Tajikistan, the country's residents sleep for an average of 8 hours, read for 8 minutes, and work for only an hour each day. During the study, from 15 September to 15 December 2023, officials interviewed 13,150 people over the age of 10 years old. Sixty percent were women and 40 percent, men. The results were presented by gender, age, area of residence (urban/rural), level of education, and employment status.  As such, the data provides a broad source of information for analysis in areas including general  labour productivity, women's labour and their contribution to the economy, the construction of the system of national accounts, and the organization and conduct of leisure activities as an indicator of well-being. Results showed that on any given day, Tajikistan's population aged 10 and over,  spends 12 hours and 53 minutes on personal care, or 53.7 percent of their day. Of this, 8 hours and 26 minutes are spent sleeping, 2 hours and 43 minutes eating, and 1 hour and 43 minutes on personal hygiene and grooming. The second highest daily time-consuming activity, averaging 4 hours and 4 minutes, is  housekeeping. Perhaps not surprisingly, women spend 5 hours and 16 minutes a day on housekeeping, and men, just  2 hours and 35 minutes. One hour 37 minutes or 6.8% of the day is occupied on media consumption. Every day, citizens watch TV for around 1 hour 22 minutes but only 8 minutes reading books. The third most popular daily activity involved communication and leisure, at 1 hour 20 minutes. Work took fifth place, with an average of 1 hour 17 minutes per day. Education took up 48 minutes a day, while daily engagement in sports and active leisure pursuits remains lower still at 12 minutes a day.  

Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan May Swap Territories to Ease Border Tensions

In order to solve their long-running border demarcation dispute, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan may consider the option of exchanging territories. That's according to remarks made by Marat Imankulov, the Secretary of the Security Council of the Kyrgyz Republic, in an interview with state news agency, Kabar. According to him, the remarkable thing is that the border in the Batken region passes through difficult terrain, densely populated areas, bisecting streets, yards, and even houses. “Therefore, it should be separated. This is a difficult compromise. It is impossible without it. We have to give way. If necessary, the option of exchanging regions can be considered. Of course, there should be a preliminary agreement with local residents; that's how things are going now,” said Imankulov. The Secretary of the Security Council noted that each country has its own interests, but the parties are now looking for balance and compromise. Imankulov added that all border negotiations should proceed peacefully. Demarcation of the border has been a long-standing source of conflict between the two nations, it is emblematic of the problem that even the length of the border - sometimes cited as being 975-kilomtres long, and at others times 972-kilomteres - is rarely agreed upon. In January 2023, Tajikistan’s President Rahmon stated that 614-kilometres had been settled upon, backtracking on a previously stated figure of 664. In a sign of thawing relations, however, on November 9th 2023, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic announced that a further 17.98 kilometers of the border had been agreed. With its scant natural resources and dwindling water supplies, the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan has been the scene of numerous skirmishes for many years. In 2014, all borders between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan were closed indefinitely to Kyrgyz and Tajik citizens following clashes over a bypass road in disputed territory; mortars were fired and both armies suffered casualties. Trouble spilled over again throughout 2021 and 2022, reportedly starting over a water dispute in the Vorukh enclave, and leaving an unknown number in the hundreds killed, and up to 136,000 people evacuated. In September 2022, another shooting took place on the border between the two countries.

Kazakhstan and Tajikistan Plan to Double Trade to $2 Billion

On 30 April, talks held in Dushanbe between Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Olzhas Bektenov and Prime Minister of Tajikistan Kokhir Rasulzoda focused on Kazakh-Tajik cooperation in trade and investment, industrial cooperation, agriculture, transport connectivity, water, and energy. Kazakhstan is Tajikistan's fourth largest trading partner and with the aim to double bilateral trade to $2 billion,  Kazakhstan announced its readiness to increase exports of 85 commodities worth about $190 million. Both governments stressed the importance of developing industrial cooperation by creating new export-oriented joint ventures, with specific reference to Kazakhstan’s large production capacity of equipment for Tajik railways, including  electric and diesel locomotives, in addition to locally manufactured transformers, agricultural machinery, batteries and motor vehicles. An important issue on the bilateral agenda is cooperation in the water sector and the need for joint action to ensure  the smooth operation of Tajikistan’s Bakhri Tojik reservoir during the growing season. In further discussions on agricultural cooperation, both parties noted that in January-February, bilateral trade of agricultural products totalled $84.9 million, an increase of 8.9 percent compared to the same period in 2023. Future plans include increasing Kazakh wheat and flour exports to Tajikistan, and creating joint ventures for flour milling and processing of livestock products.  

First-Time Graduates of U.S. Program for English and Professional Skills in Central Asia

Last weekend, young and mid-career professionals in the energy and environment sectors, celebrated their completion of the U.S.-funded regional C5 + Opening Networks through English (C5 + O.N.E.) program. Spread throughout Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, they were the first graduates of a nine-month intensive course in English and professional development implemented by the American Council for International Education with support from U.S. embassies. A total of around 1,100 participants in three cohorts are currently enrolled in the program which operates throughout Central Asia. The US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan reports that 189 professionals throughout the country are currently enhancing their English and professional skills through three weekly classes, supplemental field trips and online seminars. Some participants from Kyrgyzstan’s Cohort One are due to present their advanced, final projects at a regional C5 + O.N.E. conference this September in Tashkent. Cohort Two students will graduate in August 2024, and Cohort Three, will complete their studies later in November. Outlining the objectives of the U.S. government’s unique regional project, U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic, Lesslie Viguerie stated: “C5 + O.N.E. is a testament to the U.S. commitment under the C5 + 1 diplomatic platform to advance shared goals among Central Asian nations. This program builds networks that are essential in today’s globalized world.”  

EBRD Helps Improve Dushanbe’s Environment and Support Tajikistan’s Banking Sector

During a visit by Odile Renaud-Basso, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to Tajikistan, on 29-30 April, the EBRD committed funds to upgrade Dushanbe's  infrastructure,  develop sustainable transportation solutions , and  support for women’s entrepreneurship. The EBRD’s loan of up to €28.45 million will help improve  transportation  in the city’s riverside area through the reconstruction of roads and  a bridge across the Varzob River, as well as the construction of dedicated bus and trolleybus lanes, and purpose-built routes for walking, cycling, electric wheelchairs etc. “We are very pleased to sign this project with the authorities of Dushanbe,” commented EBRD's president. “They have been committed to the green agenda ever since the city joined the EBRD Green Cities programme in 2019.” The Dushanbe Green City Action Plan was developed in collaboration with the EBRD to address environmental and development issues affecting the 800, 000 residents of Tajikistan’s largest municipality. Investment to  promote a strategic shift from carbon-intensive, traditional transportation towards more eco-friendly, sustainable alternatives,  aims to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 37 percent. Joined by the Chairman of the National Bank of Tajikistan, Firdavs Nazrimad Tolibzoda, Renaud-Basso then signed a memorandum of understanding to support the country’s development of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Code. Representing  providers of financial services, regulators, development banks and other stakeholders, the WE Financial Code was formed to increase financial assistance to women-led micro, small and medium enterprises, and as a globally accepted multi-stakeholder approach, help eliminate constraints and gaps in financing women entrepreneurs in Tajikistan. The EBRD has now provided fresh funds and created new growth opportunities for women-owned and managed businesses in Tajikistan. Under the auspices of its Women in Business (WiB) programme for Central Asia, a loan of US$ 5 million (€4.6 million) has been granted  to one of the country’s largest lenders, Bank Arvand, alongside technical assistance to help the bank promote women’s entrepreneurship and business activity. In addition, and under the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme, a limited loan of US$ 1 million (€0.9 million) was offered to country’s leading microlenders, MDO HUMO, to help local clients both import goods, services, and equipment, and export their products.    

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