Afghanistan’s Third Largest City Gets $10 Million Private Sector Boost

Business owners and officials gathered in Herat to celebrate successful investment partnerships that are fueling private sector growth in the region. The August 18 event was hosted by the Assistance in Building Afghanistan by Developing Enterprises Program, a USAID-funded program that catalyzes business development through public-private alliances that facilitate the expansion and diversification of investment partners’ production lines.

The Hon. Mohammad Asif Rahimi, governor of Herat Province, delivers the keynote address during the ABADE-hosted event in Herat, Afghanistan. 

The ABADE Program, which IESC implements, has recently completed 13 investment partnerships in Herat totaling $10 million. Of that $10 million, small and medium enterprises contributed the vast majority, about $8.8 million. To assist these new or expanding business ventures, ABADE contributed about $1.2 million in new equipment and technical assistance.

‘Expanding your businesses and venturing into new activities brings a fresh energy to the economy in the province,’ said Mohammad Asif Rahimi, the governor of Herat Province and keynote speaker at the event. ‘The private sector, especially the business community, is the real agent of change and development in our community, so let me encourage you to continue to develop your businesses, produce more and better products, and hire more new workers,’ Rahimi said. ‘Economic development is a big part of my governance platform and I appreciate the strong support of USAID in helping develop the business sector in Herat.’

Ebrahim Mohammadi is president of Mohammadi Mirtamani Chicken Feed Production Company and an investment partner with ABADE. Mohammadi used to import his chicken feed for sale, but the product was expensive and not very nutritious.

‘Through our investment partnership, ABADE worked with us to purchase a modern poultry feed production line, and now we are producing our own nutritionally-enhanced feeds and also supplying other poultry farms,’ Mohammadi said. ‘There is huge demand for poultry feed in Herat and I am very happy to be the first producer of commercial feed in Herat.’

Other speakers at the event included representatives of the Economy Department of Herat, the Herat Directorate of Commerce and Industries, and the Herat Chamber of Commerce and Industries. More than 70 people attended the event, including current investment partners, local business owners, and representatives of development and donor organizations.

Since 2012, the ABADE Program has completed 57 investment partnerships in Herat worth $37.6 million. The program has created 237 investment partnerships in ten provinces across the country with a total investment value of more than $175 million. ABADE’s investment partnership program is designed to encourage business and job growth by mitigating the risks of private sector investment. Funded by USAID, ABADE is a four-year program that will run until October 2016.