Tooryalai Wesa, a University of British Columbia associate researcher has been named the new governor of the province of Kandahar. 58-year-old Wesa is an agricultural expert based in Coquitlam, B.C. He will replace outgoing governor Rahmutullah Raufi, who was fired after three months on the job.

Wesa has worked with both Canadian military and civilian authorities in Kandahar to develop rural initiatives in the region and strengthen local governance. Since 2004, Wesa has worked as an associate researcher at UBC’s Institute of Asian Research. He is fluent in Pashto, Dari, Farsi, English, German, and Arabic. Provincial governors in Afghanistan are appointed by President Karzai, but must be approved by a committee.

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