Country Overview

Country Overview- Afghanistan

Official Map of Afghanistan

Land & Geography

Geographic location Afghanistan is a landlocked country situated at the hub of South Asia and Central Asia. To the south and east, Afghanistan shares a border with Pakistan; to the west, it shares a border with Iran, and its northern border touches the Central Asian countries of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. In the far northeast, it shares a border India (PoK) and China [1]

Climate Continental climate with temperatures ranging from 30°C in summer to -20°C in winter.  Average annual rainfall is estimated at 250mm. Varies in different parts of the country from 1200 mm in the higher altitudes of the northeast, to 60 mm in the southwest. Snow falls regularly in the mountainous regions and higher altitudes of the Northeast and the Central Highlands, while the rest of the country has varying snowfall.[2]

Area 652,864 sq. km (2021) [3]
Natural Hazards Damaging earthquakes occur in the Hindu Kush mountains.  Major environmental issues include flooding, droughts, limited natural fresh water resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil degradation; overgrazing; deforestation (much of the remaining forests are being cut down for fuel and building materials); desertification; air and water pollution, changing of grazing land and forests to crop cultivated land, no proper irrigation systems and water distribution rights.[4]

Land Boundary Afghanistan is bordered by Iran to the west (925 kilometers), by the Central Asian States of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north and northeast (2,380 kilometers), by China at the easternmost top of the Wakhan Corridor (96 kilometers), by Pakistan[5] to the east and south (2,432 kilometers) by India (Pok) in the northeast (106 km).[6]
Coastal Boundary Afghanistan is a landlocked country.


Official Name Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, (On 15 August 2021 the Taliban captured Kabul, and renamed Afghanistan’s name to Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan)[7]
Capital   Kabul[8]
Independent since August 19, 1919[9]
National Days Independence Day: 19th August Liberation Day: 15th February
Type of Government

On 15 August 2021 the Taliban captured Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. It was the culmination of a military offensive that began in May 2021 against the Afghan government. Most of the provincial capitals of Afghanistan had fallen one after the other amid a U.S. troop withdrawal to be completed by 31 August 2021[10].

In September 2021, the Taliban declared the formation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) and installed an unelected cabinet. Mullah Hassan Akhundzada was appointed as the head of state (Prime Minister), Haibatullah Akhundzada, the movement’s leader, was named the IEA’s supreme leader[11].

Prior to the Taliban takeover, the type of government was the Presidential Islamic Republic. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan comprised of the three branches: Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. According to Article 60 of the Afghanistan Constitution 2004, The President is the head of state and executes his authority in all three branches in accordance with the Constitution. The President has two deputies: First and Second Vice Presidents.[12] In accordance with Article 1 and 2 of the Constitution, Afghanistan is an Islamic Republic, independent, unitary and indivisible state. Islam is the religion of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Head of the State On 7 September 2021, the Taliban announced Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund as the acting Prime Minister of an interim Taliban government[13]    
Head of Government (Vacant)

Constitution (Ratified) January 26, 2004. The present Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was agreed upon by more than 500 delegates representing Afghan men and women from across the country at the Constitutional Loya Jirga (December 13, 2003 – January 4, 2004). The Constitution was formally ratified by President Hamid Karzai at a ceremony in Kabul on January 26, 2004.[14]    
Parliament Party Position

The Department of Registration of Political Parties and Social Organizations was established within the Ministry of Justice pursuant to decree number 152 dated October 27, 2002, to review and register Social Organizations and Political Parties.[15]

The Ministry of Justice is responsible to review, register, and issue a license for Political Parties.  Since the formation of Department of Registration of Political Parties and Social Organizations on September 18, 2013, the total number of licensed Political Parties is (57) and Social Organizations is (3770) in Afghanistan as of December 31, 2016[16].

As per Article 156 of the Constitution of Afghanistan 2004 The Independent Elections Commission was established to administer and supervise every kind of elections as well as refer to general public opinion of the people in accordance with the provisions of the law.[17]

Elections/ Due

In 2019 Presidential elections, Ashraf Ghani was declared winner by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on 18 February 2020; President Ashraf Ghani earned 923,868 votes and 50.64%, according to the IEC announcement, Abdullah Abdullah followed with 720,990 votes and 39.52%[18].

Principal Political Parties with Leaders

Party Name


(Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan)-

Mohammad Karim Khalili

Party of Afghanistan

Afghanistan (Republican party of Afghanistan)

Salahudin Rabani

 Habibulah Sanjar

People’s Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan

Mohammed Mohaqeq

A list of 72 registered political parties registered with the Ministry Of Justice, Afghanistan is given on the Ministry’s website[19]

People & Society

Total Population 39,835, 428 (as of 2021)[20]
Density (per Sq. Km) 61 people per of land area  (as of 2021)[21]
Ethnic Groups The country’s constitution officially recognizes 14 ethnic groups- Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Baluch, Turkmen, Nuristani, Pamiri, Arab, Gujar, Brahui, Qizilbash, Aimaq, and Pashai[22]
Languages Pashto and Dari.  Afghanistan’s Constitution stipulates that all other languages are “official” in the areas in which they are spoken by a majority of the population.[23]
Religions Afghanistan is an Islamic country. An estimated 80% of the population is Sunni, following the Hanafi School of jurisprudence. The remainder of the population is predominantly Shi’a.[24]
Literacy 37% of people ages 15 and above (as of 2021)[25]
Life Expectancy

65 at birth according to World Bank Data (2020)[26]

Sex Ratio 1 males at birth per female as of 2020[27]


Official Currency Afghani[28] US$1 is equal to 76.81 Afghanis as of 2020.[29]
GDP (Nominal)

20.12  (current US $) (2020 billion)[30]

GDP (Growth Rate) -2.4% (annual%) (2020)[31]
Per Capita GDP (PPP)

2,078.5 (current international $) (2020)[32]

Public Debt (% of GDP)

7.80  %(2020)[33] from 6.10 % in (2019)[33]

Foreign Exchange Reserves US $ 9.75 billon (2020)[35]
Gross Saving (% of GDP) 18.85% (2019)[36]
Foreign Trade (Export & Import)

Afghanistan had a total export of 870,488.51 in thousands of US$ and total imports of 8,568,013.88 in thousands of US$ (2019) [37]

Total Trade Balance -7,697,525.36 in thousand of US $ (2019)[38]

Major Items of Export[39]

Carpets and Rugs

Dried Fruits

Medicinal Plants

Major Items of Import[40]


Machinery and Equipment

Food items

Base metals and related 

Major Trading Partners[41] Export                                Imports
1. India                                1. Iran
2. Pakistan                         2. Pakistan
3. UAE                                 3. China                     
4. Turkey                             4. United States
                                             5. Turkmenistan

Military & Security

Military &

Military Expenditure 262 US $ Million[42]
(2020) from 226 US $ Million (2019)[43]

1.4 % of GDP (2020)[44]



Last Updated on: 13 September, 2022.