The Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) announced on Monday that Mohammad Asif Rahimi has been appointed governor of Herat province and Homayoun Azizi as governor of Kandahar province.
The new appointments, which were recommended by the IDLG and then approved by President Ashraf Ghani, come at a crucial time. Around the country, worsening security and economic conditions have given way to heavy criticisms of the National Unity Government (NUG), which many blame for the deteriorating situation on account of its failure to replace acting officials with new appointments more promptly.
Asif Rahimi will take over leadership of Herat at a time when the province is seeing high rates of militant activity as well as administrative corruption. He was educated in civil engineering at Kabul University and in public administration and management at Nebraska University in the United States.
Rahimi also previously served as the Deputy Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Urban Development and then as Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock.
The newly appointed governor of Kandahar province received his education in medicine while in France. He previously served as head of the Provincial Council and State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs.
While the two appointments, which are for two of Afghanistan's largest provinces, come at an important time, still the majority of provinces remain under the leadership of officials originally appointed by former president Hamid Karzai. Many of these officials, both acting governors and district chiefs, have been accused of corruption and collusion with militant groups in recent months.