CFI.co Meets the CEO of Makhtag: Muhammad Halim Fidai
Former governor Muhammad Halim Fidai of the Wardak Province in Afghanistan is not impressed with the way his country is usually portrayed by the international media. In fact, Mr Fidai finds it incomprehensible that the media consistently downplays the significant progress made since the ousting of the Taliban regime in November of 2001.
Six years ago, Mr Fidai, then 38, became the youngest governor of one of the country’s 34 provinces. Mr Fidai governed Wardak province, gateway to the capital city Kabul, successfully for five years. As an independent politician not affiliated to any party, Mr Fidai has made it a point of honour to dedicate his efforts in the public sphere to the betterment of his country. As such, he is a man of ideas rather than of raw power as it befits a journalist, editor and writer of no less than seventeen books.
Mr Fidai’s most recently published work – The Roots of Leadership and Democracy in Afghanistan – deals with the country’s valiant attempts to find a sustainable way of introducing a stable and representative form of government that includes all sectors of Afghan society – even the ones now engaged in armed struggle.
The questions addressed in the book are of singular importance. With the impending withdrawal of foreign troops from the country, Afghanistan stands in urgent need of a home-grown solution to its governance issue. Mr Fidai argues, quite convincingly, that only an all-inclusive government headed by a non-partisan president has any chance of bringing the lasting peace that is required in order for Afghanistan to prosper and overcome strife.
Mr Fidai has long been involved with international aid organisations and is considered an expert on the delivery and execution of projects. For the past fourteen years Mr Fidai has assisted mostly American non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with the implementation of education, human rights, public-administration and women empowerment projects throughout the country.
Currently, Mr Fidai is an active member of the Fikr & Amal Jirga (Thought & Action Assembly) – an Afghan think tank. He is also the founder and CEO of Makhtag (Progress) Consultancy – a firm providing services in governance, research, public diplomacy, and leadership.
Mr Fidai is a founding member of the Afghan chapter of the South Asian Free Media Association. He is also a member of the Central Eurasia Leadership Academy. Mr Fidai holds an MBA from a university in India with a specialization in leadership and change management. He is widely travelled both inside Afghanistan and outside the country, attending seminars and other events in South East and Central Asia, Europe and the Middle East.