In a significant stride towards bolstering Afghanistan's energy infrastructure and catalysing economic revival, the Ministry of Water and Energy has unveiled a five-year development blueprint for the electricity sector. The plan, presented to the Economic Commission of the Islamic Emirate, envisions the execution of 200 electricity production projects worth $3.8 billion over the upcoming half-decade.
Tripartite Agreement to Power the Future
A tripartite agreement for electricity production from natural gas was also tabled at the meeting, marking a significant pivot in Afghanistan's power production strategy. The contract, involving Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), Afghan Gas, and Bayat Power, has been earmarked for review by the Ministries of Water and Energy, Justice, and Mines and Petroleum.
Rebuilding the Economy
The economic deputy of the Prime Minister's office underscored the strategic importance of this initiative, aimed at rejuvenating Afghanistan's energy landscape. The move comes amidst the country's struggle to stabilize its economy after the collapse of the aid-based system post the US troops' withdrawal in August 2021 and the Taliban's consequent takeover. The administration is now striving to attract investments that will create employment opportunities for Afghans grappling with rising costs and dim job prospects.
Exploiting Untapped Potential
The Taliban celebrated the signing of their first international deal since assuming power in August 2021, a testament to their efforts to resuscitate the economy. The contract, inked with a Chinese firm, facilitates the exploitation of oil reserves in the north of Afghanistan. This initiative targets a 4,500 square kilometer region across the Sar-e Pol, Jowzjan, and Faryab provinces. Over the 25-year contract, China will contribute an escalating sum to Afghanistan, starting with an annual payment of 150 million, which will increase to 540 million in three years.
Simultaneously, the Taliban is exploring potential avenues for economic cooperation with South Korea, eyeing the untapped mineral fields in the country as a prospective area of mutual benefit, particularly given South Korea's renowned electronics industry.