Kabul, May 11 – U.S. Ambassador P. Michael McKinley recognized the contribution of a group of 40 companies from Kabul, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Herat, and Mazar-i-Sharif that – in collaboration with the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Assistance in Building Afghanistan by Developing Enterprise (ABADE) program – have invested $24.7 million in expanding their businesses with the expectation of creating 2,400 new jobs over the next several years. On average, they have contributed almost $5 for every $1 USAID has contributed.
The ceremony took place at the U. S. Embassy in Kabul. The 40 investment partnerships range from food manufacturing and agribusiness, clothing and fabric production, construction materials production, metal fabrication and steel mills, manufacturing of furniture, cookware and kitchenware, as well as pharmaceuticals, leather products, plastic recycling, digital printing, and repair and maintenance services.
ABADE’s public-private alliances with Afghan small and medium- size enterprises help to reduce the risks involved with business expansion, to sustain growth, and to create new jobs. Under the program, Afghan partners define their growth plans and commit their own financial resources to implement them; ABADE complements their investments by providing capital equipment and technical assistance needed for the new business activity.
“We commend these entrepreneurs for developing new processes and products for a growing consumer market, and for their vision in investing in the future of Afghanistan,” said Ambassador McKinley. “They have demonstrated courage, perseverance, and strong commitment to their communities.”
ABADE is a $105 million project that runs from October 2012 to April 2017. To date, it has developed nearly 300 public-private alliances with Afghan small and medium-size enterprises. These alliances represent a combined value of over USD 300 million. These companies report a 166 percent increase in sales and over 1,900 new jobs.