Mohammad Omar Zakhailwal

Dr. Omar Zakhilwal (Pashto: ډاکتر عمر زاخيلوال ; born 1968), is an economist and a prominent politician in Afghanistan. He is the current Finance Minister as well as the Chief Economic Advisor to the President of Afghanistan.

Early life

Zakhilwal was born in 1968 in Badakhshan, Afghanistan. He is an ethnic Pashtun. In 1984, at the age of 17, Zakhilwal along with his family fled his country among the Afghan refugees and settled in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Education and academics

Dr. Zakhilwal obtained his Bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Winnipeg, in Manitoba, Canada. He then moved to Kingston, Ontario, where he earned a Master’s degree in economics at Queen’s University. Soon after that he found a job with Statistics Canada in Ottawa, where he completed a doctorate in economics at Carleton University. He graduated in 2001.[1]

Zakhilwal has published numerous articles and research papers on political, economic and social issues related to Afghanistan for some well known newspapers, magazines and journals such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Wahdat, Forum of Federation Quarterly, Human Rights Tribune, Al-Ehram, Afghan Post, Heela, Dawat, Mujahid Wolus, Afghan Mosaic, Afghan Mirror, and etc.[2] His work is in English, Pashto and Dari, and his articles are on the internet and can be accessed through any search engine.[3]

In Politics

Over the course of his stay in Afghanistan, Dr. Zakhilwal has been part of the two Loya Jirgas that elected the president for the Afghanistan Transitional Government (June 2002) and ratified Afghanistan’s Constitution (Dec 2003). served as an author of Afghanistan’s First National Human Development Report (released by UNDP in Feb 2005); and has been part of many other initiatives with respect to rural Development. He also worked as an Afghan counter-part to the North-South Institute-led “What Kind of Peace is Possible?” research project, examining the role of community led development in sustainable peace building, as well as working on a strategy for Counter-Narcotics Alternative Livelihood in Afghanistan. Moreover, he has done consulting work for the World Bank, UNDP, CIDA and other organizations.[3]

Dr. Omar Zakhilwal is the Minister of Finance as well as the Chief Economic Advisor to the President of Afghanistan. Prior to his current position, Dr. Zakhiwal served as the President of the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA), a member of the Supreme Council of Da Afghanistan Bank, Acting Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, and the Chief Advisor to the Minister of Rural Development of Afghanistan.[1]

Since 2003, Dr. Zakhilwal has been part of many initiatives pertaining to economics and development issues in the country. He was the author of the first Afghanistan National Human Development Report, released by UNDP in February 2007. He also worked as an Afghan counterpart to the Ottawa based North-South community-led development project in sustainable peace building, as well as on a number of other development related initiatives. Moreover, he has done consulting work for the World Bank, UNDP, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and other organizations.[1]

Work History

Zakhilwal’s Posts[1][2][2]
Chief Economic Advisor to the President of Afghanistan
Ministry of Finance Finance Minister
Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) Chairman
Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) President
Transport and Civil Aviation Acting Minister
Da Afghanistan Bank Member of the Supreme Council
Minister of Rural Development of Afghanistan The Chief Advisor
Government of Canada Senior Research Economist
Carleton University in Ottawa Professor of Economics
Board of Directors of Partnership Afghanistan Canada President


  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ a b

Source: Wikipedia


  • Khaama Press

    The Khaama Press News Agency is the leading and largest English news service for Afghanistan with over 3 million hits a month. Independent authors/columnists and experts are welcomed to contribute stories, opinions and editorials. Send stories to