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Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Appreciates EA

Kabul, June 21, 2011: Mrs. Amina Afzali, Minister for Labor & Social Affairs, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has appreciated the efforts and resolve of Etisalat Afghanistan for investing and partnering in the development of human capital of the country. The honorable Minister for Labor & Social Affairs along with her team from the Ministry comprising of Mr. Ahmad Sidiq Dilear, Chief of Staff, Mr. Khair Mohammad Nero, General Director of HR, Mr. Behroz Sharifi and Dr. Farid Raaid, Advisor to the Minister today visited the Etisalat office in Kabul.

Etisalat Afghanistan, a 100% owned subsidiary of Etisalat Telecommunications UAE, deeply values the commitment of harnessing the local talent by initiating top of the line training and development programs. Various initiatives have been taken in this regard. Earlier this year, with the collaboration of Ministry of Labor & Social Affairs, Etisalat Afghanistan has launched Graduate Trainee Program for hiring 60 graduate trainees.

A comprehensive development plan is being formulated to give these trainees the right exposure and training to take on critical work and future positions of responsibilities within Etisalat functions including commercial, technical, HR and finance. The candidates were selected and hired through an extensive process in partnership with the Ministry of Labor. These shortlisted candidates after passing through the rigorous exercise of written test and interview were adjudged as successful to be inducted as Graduate Trainees in Etisalat. This program comprise of a three weeks orientation program here in Kabul by eminent International Trainers from Dubai and Local Functional Experts. After the conclusion of comprehensive orientation program, all 60 Graduate Trainees are being sent to Dubai for specialized training. Part of it, the first batch of GTs is undertaking the program right now in Dubai. This Program spans over a period of one year and after completion of the period by next year, these people shall be placed as officers in respective places to carry out the practical responsibilities.

While welcoming the distinguished guests at Etisalat, Mr. Ahmed Alhosani, CEO Etisalat Afghanistan said, “It is indeed a proud moment for all of us. Today’s visit is reiteration of the mutual commitment of the Etisalat and the Government of Afghanistan towards the development of the Afghanistan in general and the young Afghanis in particular. This resolve is our credo and our mission and we strongly adhere to it through practice and action. We are here in Afghanistan with a much larger objective that transcends our commercial objective. And that objective is to partner the development of the country in a truly effective and practical way.

While commenting further, he said “We truly believe that people are our real asset here in this country and this is the reason we endeavor our best to unlock the true potential of this valuable asset. The young generation of Afghanistan has all the requisite ingredients to serve as the competitive advantage for us and this country. I find them highly energetic, passionate and full of inner will to grow and do something great for Afghanistan. The only thing they require is to provide them with development opportunities to unleash their potential in a truly effective manner. At Etisalat, the Development of the Local Afghans is our biggest priority and our efforts edge towards the true development of our people by providing them every opportunity of learning and development. We understand that only the skilled and trained Afghans can take the county ahead in a much quicker pace. We take pride of the fact that as per International Standards our training effort is double the stated standard. This speaks of our deep resolve of improving the knowledge and skill set of our Local Afghans. We are thankful to the Ministry of Labor and Government of Afghanistan for our partnership regarding Graduate Trainee program, their continuous support for our deep resolve of improving the knowledge and skill set of our local staff and all other areas pertaining to human capital development in the country. Besides the formal trainings, under succession development program we are providing ON JOB COACHING to these successors. This practical learning is giving them a much broader knowledge and skill set.”

Mrs. Amina Afzali, Minister for Labor & Social Affairs while speaking on the occasion stated, “This excellent initiative of Etisalat Afghanistan for recruiting 60 graduate trainees in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Social affairs is highly laudable, especially as the selection process has been completed through a transparent process. All these 60 candidates will be provided extensive training here and abroad by renowned trainers and shall then serve their people in Afghanistan as Etisalat staff. I also want to call upon all those companies that are working in construction, business and other sectors here to provide job opportunities to educated unemployed people in Afghanistan.”

Mr. Ismail Taha, Chief Human Resource Officer, Etisalat Afghanistan said, “We consider our employees the biggest asset of the company. We deem them the real prime movers of our productivity. We continue to invest on their learning and development. The development of our employees especially the locals through a number of in- house and abroad customized development programs is always the biggest priority of the Etisalat Afghanistan Management. During the last three years, we have promoted more than 500 local staff to assume the higher roles in the company. Few years before, you hardly find any local at managerial position. Now through this move, you find the locals at key directorial positions. To brace them up for it, we are having a number of in house and abroad customized development programs for them, so that when they hold the reins, they are fully capable to assume the position of responsibility and live up to the expectations set upon them. One of the big initiatives in this regard is launching a mega development program “The Successors Development and Broad Training Program” under the auspices of Etisalat Academy in Dubai aiming at enhancing the knowledge, skills and attitudes of our employees to let them increase their work place effectiveness and efficiency.”

As part of its ambition to be a world class operator of choice and most preferred employer in the country, the company deeply values the commitment and dedication of its Afghan employees for the continued progress and success of company. It is pertinent to mention here that 90 percent of Etisalat Afghanistan work force comprises of local Afghans. The company has taken numerous steps to reward and maximize the benefits for its employees. Recently the company has announced comprehensive employee rewards and welfare program which includes up to 15 percent salary increase in addition to awarding maximum 7 Bonus salaries to our employees. The medical facility has been extended for the local employees and their families for reimbursement against expense incurred for any treatment abroad. “Education Policy” has also been launched to facilitate Etisalat employees by providing them flex hours and Scholarships.

During the visit to Etisalat office, Mrs. Amina Afzali, Minister for Labor & Social Affairs also inaugurated a Nursery at Etisalat which the company has established to comfort local female employees in taking care of their infants through highly trained staff.

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