Hirat, February 26 – The ABADE Hirat Regional Office conducted a Turnover Ceremony and Investment Roundtable to formally hand over the equipment provided by USAID to seven small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Hirat through ABADE’s Public-Private Alliance (PPA) program.
The seven PPA-SMEs received the complete range of equipment committed by USAID to improve and expand their businesses. These include a modern containerized ice-making machinery for Badghis Ice Production Factory, a sesame seed de-hulling line for Barakat Bazr Company, specialized beauty parlor equipment for Tahira (Aroos Darya Beauty Parlor), high definition video and photography equipment for Hami Nama Advertising Company, tailoring equipment for Sherin Gul (Shirzad Production), furniture production machinery for Farid Ahmad (Farid MDF Industry), and laptops and a color printer for Jeela (Bahar Restaurant) women’s internet café.
Public-Private Alliance is a program designed to encourage business growth and creation of new jobs by mitigating the risks of investment. Under the program, SME partners define their growth plans and commit their resources to implement this plan; USAID, on the other hand, supports the plan with the provision of the capital equipment needed for the new business activity. For the aforementioned seven PPAs in Hirat, USAID contributed more than $289,000 in equipment and the SME partners contributed almost $1.3 million of their existing resources, as well as new investments in machinery or infrastructure.
During the turnover program, Mr. Jaber Ansar, Head of MoCI Hirat, lauded USAID for implementing a program that is showing “big and tangible accomplishments” in improving the business sector in the western region. He likewise commended the entrepreneurs for making their investments in the country instead of taking their capital overseas.
On the other hand, Mr. Ahmad Saeed Azimian of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries in Hirat recognized the importance of economic development projects in creating stability in the country by strengthening the economy, helping businesses to grow, generating jobs and thus creating more and better options for the citizens.
The day-long event also included a signing ceremony of five new PPAs and an investment roundtable with prospective PPA applicants. These new prospective PPAs applicants are working on decorative marble production, electrical housing fabrication, production of yarn for carpet weaving, tissue paper production and tailoring.
To date, 46 investment partnerships have been formed in Hirat and 15 of them are owned or managed by women, or responding to the needs of women and youth. USAID has committed more than $3 million in machinery and equipment to these new investments. The SME partners, on the other hand, have committed more than $24 million investments of their existing assets and in new equipment and infrastructures.
USAID/ABADE is a four-year project that began in October 2012. As of February 21, the project has created 158 public-private alliances with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kabul, Hirat, Mazar and Jalalabad with a total investment valued at almost $117 million. USAID has committed almost $16 million in equipment, machinery and technical support, and the SME partners are putting in more than $100 million of their existing resources and investing in new equipment and structures.
Mr. Massoud (left), owner of Barakat Bazr, receives the certificate of delivery of a brand new sesame seed dehulling line from ABADE Hirat Regional Manager Fazl Rabi, during the Turnover Ceremony and Investment Roundtable in Hirat, on February 26.
Ms. Elaha Forotan, owner of Hami Nama Production, signs the certificate of delivery of a set of high-definition video and photography equipment from USAID/ABADE.
Businessmen from Hirat attend the Turnover Ceremony and Investment Roundtable held on February 26.