AMEA - Academic Mining Education in Afghanistan


The Academic Mining Education in Afghanistan (AMEA) project (2014 to 2017) supports the training of highly qualified specialists and managerial staff in the Afghan mining industry. In order to use the potential of the mining industry for the country as a whole, the training of specialists, especially university teachers, in this area needs improvement. The objective of the project is therefore to modernise academic mining education in Afghanistan and to adapt it to the requirements of the market.


Up until now, it has not been possible to realise the opportunities for economic and social development in Afghanistan’s commodities sector. The political framework is inadequate for ensuring the success of the mining industry and creating jobs. A major obstacle is the shortage of well-trained technical specialists and managerial staff in the commodities sector.

Project partners

Funded by the German Federal Foreign Office (AA), the AMEA project has been implemented by GIZ and DAAD since 2014. In Afghanistan, the responsible political agency is the Ministry of Higher Education; the Ministry of Mining and Petroleum is also involved in the project.

Support is given especially to the Polytechnical University of Kabul (KPU), Kabul University (KU), and Balkh University in Mazar-i-Sharif (BU), which offer mining-related bachelor programmes. In Germany, the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology and the Ruhr University Bochum co-operate with the DAAD. They are responsible for curriculum development and corresponding human capacity development.

Programme objectives

The overall objective is to modernise Afghan academic mining education in line with market requirements in Afghanistan.

To this end, existing mining-related bachelor programmes Geology & Exploration, Open Pit Mining, and Underground Mining at the KPU are to be modernised by adapting the curricula according to international standards. Moreover, minors in Mining Law, Mining Engineering, and Mining Administration are being developed and integrated into existing degree programmes at the three KU faculties of economics, law, and administrative sciences.

Equally, there are mining-related professional development courses in Freiberg. These offer scholarships on the master’s level, and for short-term stays with practical experience. Further, local professional development courses have been opened for lecturers and technical staff in a newly designed and equipped teaching laboratory at the KPU. In Bochum, master graduates are being trained for the prospective teaching of the new minors. The measures include providing the necessary teaching materials, readers, laboratory manuals, and laboratory practice.

Project components (04/2014–02/2017)

Four interlinked components contribute to the success of the project. The DAAD is responsible for implementing components 1 and 2, and the GIZ for components 3 and 4.

1. Improving existing degree programmes in mining education

In this component, the programme structure and curricula of the existing degree courses Geology & Exploration, Open Pit Mining, and Underground Mining will be revised and given a more practical application. For example, practical work phases are integrated into the programme and guest lecturers from administration and business are invited. Thirteen Afghan geoscientists currently receive a DAAD scholarship in order to complete a two-year master’s degree at the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology. After completion of their studies in Germany they will return to Afghanistan to work as lecturers and to pass on their newly acquired knowledge. Furthermore, teaching staff will earn qualifications in training and continuing education measures to run practice-oriented degree courses.

Measures to date:

  • 13 lecturers in geosciences have are studying in various master's programmes at the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology
  • 15 Afghan Bachelor students and 15 young Afghan teachers have completed a three-month study visit with a particular focus on practical training at Freiberg University
  • Short-term lectureships, workshops, and winter schools have contributed to the joint co-ordination and implementation of curriculum development processes
  • Two long-term lectureships at the BU and the KPU were funded, which included teaching, advisory, and networking tasks

2. Integrating mining-related subsidiary subjects into existing degree programmes on Public Administration, Economics and Business Administration and Law

In this component, curricula for minors in Mining Engineering, Mining Law and Mining Administration will be designed and integrated into existing degree programmes so that students can choose these subjects and qualify as mining specialists within their subject area. Qualification measures to train the necessary lecturers will be implemented and the necessary teaching materials procured. This will make it easier to handle and deal with mining-related issues in public discourse.

Measures to date:

  • Subsidiary subjects in Mining Engineering, Mining Law and Mining Administration have been developed and implemented
  • Three Afghan lecturers have been selected for a study visit to receive training in teaching the minors
  • The minors have been taught in mining-related degree programmes at KU

3. Providing strategic advice to the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Mining as well as selected universities

This component deals with the development of common standards in mining education in collaboration with the ministries and universities involved. The objective is to identify deficits and to create and gradually establish standards of achievement. Also, a management structure is to be established. This will be made up of representatives of the Ministry of Higher Education, the Ministry of Mining and the participating universities, whose tasks will include developing a concept for sustainability.

4. Linking science, business, and administration

Summer schools, winter schools, and specialist conferences are some of the tools to develop strategic partnerships in the international scientific community. In addition, universities are advised on how to identify possible strategic partners at an international level. In order to improve interaction between universities and the business world, they are also advised on how to involve Afghan and international companies.

Relevant documents


DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service
Department P31 Institution Building in Higher Education

Dr. Alexander Kupfer (Bonn office)
Senior Project Manager for DAAD-AMEA
Tel.: +49 228 882-8973

Anzhela Eloeva (Bonn office)
Project Administrator
Tel.: +49 228 882-606

DAAD Information Center Kabul
Tel.: +93 (79) 6453-524

Funded by:

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