Afghan women related to ex-combatants will be trained as teachers under a new United Nations-supported initiative aimed at educating women while facilitating the reintegration of former fighters and their families in the war-ravaged country into civilian life. Training will take place throughout Afghanistan under the five-month programme, which began yesterday following the signing of an agreement between the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Education with the support of the Afghanistan’s New Beginnings Programme (ANBP). ANBP regional offices have registered and selected candidates before referring them to the provincial Departments of Education. Although some provinces, like Parwan, Kapisa, Takhar, Baghlan and Gardez, did not have the requisite 10 candidates to start a training session, the project has already proved its success with 563 candidates for only 340 places. The project will also serve as a useful capacity-building exercise for the provincial Departments of Education working with ANBP as they will have to undertake logistical organizational activities such as preparing monthly salary lists and student attendance sheets.It is just one of the multiple initiatives UN agencies are undertaking to improve the country’s stability and advance programmes across a vast spectrum of activities. Later this month UNDP and the Ministry of Communications will host the first-ever national Information and Communication Technology (ICT) conference in Afghanistan with hundreds of participants from the ever-growing sector.The two-day conference will provide information for high-level government officials and the private sector as well as representatives from the provinces, academics and civil society groups. It will include discussions, technology exhibitions, investment opportunities and the launch of top-level Internet domains and online registration for the country’s ‘.af’ website addresses.