The Role of Public-Private Partnership Towards Peace & Prosperity in Afghanistan

In the context of the 2020 Afghanistan Conference, the European Union (EU) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) today co-hosted an international virtual meeting to discuss the contribution of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) towards peace and prosperity in Afghanistan. 

The event brought together the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA), its international partners, financing institutions and the private sector for an exchange of ideas on the basis of existing examples in view of developing an agenda for future investments.

Afghanistan's Deputy Minister for Finance, Abdul Habib Zadran, EU Acting Director Asia, Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf and Pacific, Jean-Louis Ville and ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Department Werner E. Liepach, explained how the PPPs approach constitutes an opportunity to mobilize domestic resources and private capital to provide affordable, reliable services to the people of Afghanistan. 

This was illustrated by examples from Afghanistan and the wider Asia region presented by the Government of Afghanistan, ADB, the International Finance Corporation, DEG-German Investment and Development Company and the Aga Khan Development Network.

'By focusing our efforts on the key challenges that prevent entrepreneurs from investing in Afghanistan, we can multiply the development impact of every Euro we spend. In doing so, we will demonstrate that public private cooperation is a real possibility in Afghanistan, even at this stage', EU acting Director Ville said during his opening speech.

ADB's Director General Liepach explained ADB's approach to PPPs in Afghanistan. 'The need for infrastructure is growing in Afghanistan and requires greater private investments and public-private partnerships to fill the funding gaps and reduce the country's dependence on donor support,' he said. 'Over the coming years, ADB will support private sector development, bring private sector investment and facilitate public-private partnerships, which are key to addressing Afghanistan's significant investment needs.'

Deputy Minister Zadran highlighted the Afghan Government investment agenda under the new Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework 2. In his view, PPPs can play a central role in reducing the dependency on external grant financing for development investments, laying a path to increased economic self-reliance. 'PPPs are an integral part of the economic reform strategy and development agenda of the Government. 

With the support of our development partners, the Afghan government will continue to encourage and mobilize private sector investments to expand access to infrastructure services to support sustained and inclusive economic growth.'