Kabul, Afghanistan, September 19, 2018—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, has signed a landmark agreement with
the government of Afghanistan to design a 40 megawatt (MW) solar power
plant that will more than double the country’s current solar energy capacity.
In Afghanistan, electricity consumption is among the lowest in the world
with only about 28 percent of Afghans connected to the grid. Three decades
of conflict have left the country’s power system battered, with the country
importing up to 80 percent of its energy and frequent blackouts reaching
up to 15 hours a day in some parts of the country.
The Government of Afghanistan has an ambitious program to develop 2,000MW
of solar power to boost the nation’s supply of electricity and will work
with IFC on an initial 40 MW solar plant that will develop a new model
for subsequent solar projects, helping the country more rapidly reach its
“This public-private partnership would play a pivotal role in helping
provide access to more reliable and predictable electricity services that
will have a positive impact on businesses and households in Afghanistan,”
said Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi, Afghanistan’s Finance Minister.
The agreement will see IFC’s PPP advisory experts supporting the government
to design and competitively tender the project, helping attract solar companies
to develop the solar photovoltaic power plant. IFC’s work with the government
will be funded by the UK Department of International Development through
DevCo, a multi-donor facility affiliated with the Private Infrastructure
Development Group, and by the Global Infrastructure Facility.
“Given the scale of Afghanistan’s needs, the private sector has the potential
to be transformative in supporting the country’s infrastructure development,”
said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC’s regional director for the Middle East and
North Africa. “IFC will bring its global experience in PPPs to help identify,
prioritize, structure, and tender the project that support government priorities
in developing the vital renewable energy sector.”
Afghanistan is a high-priority country for IFC. IFC has invested around
$216 million in a number of projects in the telecommunications, hospitality,
and financial sectors. IFC has provided advice aimed at improving the country’s
investment climate and facilitating greater private sector investment.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more
than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging
the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared
prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org