I'm happy to share that the ICT Sector Development Project for Afghanistan, a US$50 million IDA emergency grant, was approved by the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank on April 26, 2011. The Project is now effective and promises to be an exciting continuation of our partnership with the Government of Afghanistan in developing the ICT sector.
Read more about the Project here.
From the official press release:
WASHINGTON, April 26, 2011 ─ The World Bank today approved a $50 million IDA grant to help the Government of Afghanistan expand connectivity, mainstream the use of mobile applications and support the development of the local information technology industry.
The Afghanistan Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Sector Development Project builds on the success of earlier projects and catalyzes the next phase of ICT development in the country. The project will support policy and regulatory reforms and strategic infrastructure investment to expand connectivity and enable more users to access high quality mobile and internet services. It will also help mainstream the use of mobile applications to improve public service delivery and program management in strategic sectors in the Government. The project will help develop the local IT industry by expanding the pool of skilled and qualified IT professionals, and supporting the incubation of ICT companies in Afghanistan.
“Afghanistan’s achievements in the sector over the past years are exciting,” said Nicholas Krafft, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan. “The Government’s policy and regulatory framework has attracted private investment in excess of $1.6 billion into Afghan telecommunication services. This project will allow Afghanistan to create the infrastructure to better utilize ICT for service delivery, allow for greater investments in the sector and help create jobs and enhance economic growth.”