His Excellency M.A. Rahimi
Mr. Rahimi is currently based in The Hague as Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the Kingdom of Netherlands.
Mohammad Asif Rahimi was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1959. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1981 and completed his post-graduate studies in Public Administration and Rehabilitation Development from Nebraska-Omaha University in 1989.
Mr. Rahimi has worked extensively in the area of governance rural development and humanitarian relief, both in Afghanistan and abroad. For over a decade, he worked with CARE International as manager of CARE operations in Afghanistan. After he moved to Canada in 2001, Mr. Rahimi joined CARE Canada as South Asia Regional Manager.
In 2005, Mr. Rahimi joined the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) as the Head of the National Solidarity Program (NSP), a flagship community development initiative of the Government of Afghanistan. During his tenure, he was notably responsible for the transition of NSP to Afghan ownership.
In April 2006, Mr. Rahimi assumed the role of Deputy Minister of Programs for MRRD, where he led the ministry’s national and regional programs, focused on ensuring the social, economic and political well-being of rural communities. These national programs targeted rural governance at district and community level, rural access, and water and sanitation.
Mr. Rahimi identified two critical gaps in the services delivered to rural communities, power/energy and rural economic growth. To address these gaps, he developed a renewable energy program, National Energy for Rural Development (ERDA), and the Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Program (AREDP), which brought the focus of MRRD back to its core deliverables.
Mohammad Asif Rahimi was appointed as Afghanistan’s Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock in October 2008. Mr. Rahimi’s portfolio includes agricultural production and productivity, livestock, natural resources and irrigation. He has also initiated a series of reforms under a whole-of- Ministry change management process, which resulted in improved performance and service delivery, also leading to greater donors’ confidence and investments in the sector.
At the outset of his assignments, Mr. Rahimi was tasked with re-developing an agricultural sector that had been destroyed by many years of war and natural disasters. He rapidly recognized that MAIL could not achieve the required results alone and that better coordination amongst rural focused ministries was needed. In August 2009, the development of the Agriculture and Rural Development Cluster was commenced, and then implemented under the leadership of Mr. Rahimi, who remained the cluster leader until the July 2012 Tokyo Conference.
Focused on self-sufficiency, equitable job creation and income generation for Afghanistan’s rural communities, Mr. Rahimi has also developed a series of National Priority Programs that address the shortcomings of the agricultural sector. These programs notably included activities in the area of natural resources management where the greatest damage has occurred.
During his tenure, Mr. Rahimi has worked relentlessly to make the activities and services of the ministry more transparent, efficient and effective. Investing significantly in institutional reforms and capacity building, his plan was to develop a strong cadre of agriculture professionals who deliver critical services to farmers while at the same time supporting the development of the private sector.
The reformation of the failing Horticulture and Livestock Program is an example of the outcome of the ministry reforms. This program has now been expanded to national coverage.
Early gaps identified in the development of the agriculture sector included land availability and access to affordable credit. This resulted in the formation of two executive agencies; the Afghanistan Land Authority (ARAZI) and the Agricultural Development Fund (ADF); Mr. Rahimi chaired both boards.
In June 2013, Mr. Rahimi was nominated to chair the FAO Conference in Rome, where he facilitated dialogue and resolution of key management and technical issues between Member Countries. His effective leadership and communication skills led to the success of the Conference and were widely praised by the international community. That year, Mr. Rahimi also received an official distinction from the Afghan Parliament for his achievements and performance as a Cabinet Minister.
Mr. Rahimi sat on many committees and boards including: The Economic Committee, The Joint Coordination and Management Board, The Emergency Response Committee, Nomads (Kuchi) Resettlement Committee, Afghanistan Investment Committee, and the New Kabul City Board.
In May 2015 Mr. Rahimi was appointed as Governor of Herat, an important province in western Afghanistan with an estimated population of over 3 million people. He served in the position until December 2018.
In 2019 he served as a high level activist among presidential candidates to foster fair and free elections. Worked to strengthen political participation by helping candidates in the development of campaign culture, public participation in political processes, and creating strategies for strong campaigns. He also worked to develop a framework for peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban movement with various political stakeholders.
In January 2020, he was appointed as Afghanistan Ambassador and special envoy to The Kingdom of Netherlands.