The Vision of Film Annex and USAid for the Economy of Afghanistan

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Today, Mike Sweeney and I traveled to Washington DC to meet with two USAid officials, Mr. Clinton L. Doggett, USAid Project Development Manager, and Ms. Kathleen A. McGowan, USAid Senior Policy Adviser, who are both focused on Afghanistan. We had a pleasant lunch in a restaurant by Union Station and shared our vision and common goals. We talked about Film Annex's corporate structure, the concept of "No Politics, Just Internet" and ultimately Film Annex's "Nation building schedule" for Afghanistan.

Thanks to the infrastructural investments of organizations like USAid, Film Annex can build INTERNET classrooms in Afghanistan at a minimal cost, very quickly. Afghanistan's digital infrastructure now benefits from the latest mobile technology and digital optical networks due to the investments by and the professionalism of USAid and its contractors. Please take a look here to see USAid's achievements and the progress in Afghanistan.

Here are a few points:

  1. Film Annex works with women entrepreneurs like Roya Mahboob to support Afghan business ownership and growth.

  2. Film Annex works to boost the confidence of Afghan children and women entrepreneurs like Roya Mahboob and Fereshteh Forough. This confidence also improves stability for private investors like our Film Annex Digital Corporate Partners.

  3. Film Annex and Citadel created the first classroom in a few weeks, connecting 4000 Afghan students to the global community of the world wide web. We are already working on the second school and plan to open a total of 40 classrooms to benefit 160,000 students in the next 38 months. Film Annex's investment is very controlled, the overhead is low, there are no travel costs, R.O.I. is huge: With an investment of $20,000, we can increase the projected GDP of 4000 students from $3.6M (4000 x $900=$3.6M) to $32M (4000 x $8000 = $32M).

Let's compare the above with USAID Administrator’s Sustainability Guidance for USAID in Afghanistan June 2011: Objectives: (1) increase Afghan ownership and capacity, (2) contribute to stability and confidence, and (3) is effective both programmatically and cost-wise. As you can see USAid and Film Annex share similar objectives.

Film Annex Methodology: Through Film Annex's Afghan Development Program, the Afghan Youth is trained in Social Media from day one and competes with Western and Asian Social Media population. The Afghan youth exceeds any expectations as they are a blank slate and have huge motivation. US government is motivated by 11 years of military operations, 500 billion dollars worth of investment, and a very urgent need to replace military operations with digital operations (Film Annex Digital Corporate Partners).

Question to USAid: Can we get direct and proactive support and endorsement? No investments are needed at this stage!

Film Annex is also interested to know more about USAid programs as:

  1. Mobile Micro Payments:

    We are awaiting technical data for testing and implementations, as wells cost and fee schedule, if any.

    We will also see if USAid will help us to subsidy specific Scholarships.

    The Mobile Micro Payment system will allow Film Annex to establish Micro Scholarships in order to encourage families to send their kids to school and reward the best performers. The Mobile Micro Payment system can work seamlessly with Examer, the Film Annex/Citadel educational software in Dari, allowing us to monitor results, reward the best performers, monitor honesty of the performances, and defeat corruption.

  2. We are also interested to know if USAid can help us negotiate better prices and collaborations with hardware companies like Dell and Lenovo. This might be tough!

  1. We also discussed the USAid Communication Strategy:

    Digital Diplomacy = Film Annex Buzz

    The value of video is staggering and triples the attention given to a project. At the moment, USAid content is mostly in PDF format and its exposure is very limited on advanced social media environments.

    Quantifying results supports organic and viral awareness, just like Klout and Buzz score motivate social media interaction.

    The question is: Can we work together to improve USAid's position as a Thought Leader?

    A great example is what Film Annex has done for NATO with NATO TV Channel, bringing millions of viewers and entrepreneurs like Roya Mahboob to the global business community. NATO is transitioning from military to diplomacy and business. The ultimate results are available on the Afghan Development Web TV:

Let's look at USAID Administrator’s Sustainability Guidance for USAID in Afghanistan June 2011 Communications Strategy: Within 45 days of this Guidance being issued, develop a communications strategy regarding USAID’s ongoing partnership with Afghanistan. Explain that our focus is to ensure the foundations are in place for continued stability and confidence of the Afghan people in progress toward a more capable, inclusive, and pluralistic governance and society. Engage systematically and regularly with Afghan government, civil society, and media. As you can see also in the communications strategy section, we share similar goals and objectives. The only difference is the fact that Film Annex Buzz utilizes very advanced proprietary technologies to position the institution and initiative as a de-facto thought leader of each specific subject as: “building schools in Afghanistan,” “Afghan Education System,” “Afghan Women Entrepreneurship” and more.

We are now working on an official introduction and presentation to Mr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of USAid. His vision and good work is making Film Annex Afghan Development possible.


Francesco Rulli


Follow me @rullifrancesco



About the author


Wikipedia Info Skin in the game @bitLanders Where social media meets the gaming Universe & positive self expression. Founding board member of @WomensAnnex Foundation supporting Women's Digital Literacy, Sustainability, and Community Building. Founder and President of MTI New York Board member @GMRF…

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