Kabul, Afghanistan, July 20 , 2016—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, has helped Afghanistan’s Kabul Municipality
develop a simpler, more efficient construction permit system that has significantly
cut red tape and processing times, and increased private investment in
the city’s construction sector.
The initiative, the result of a partnership
between IFC and Kabul Municipality signed in 2014, is designed to spur
much-needed construction in the Afghan capital. Funded by the United States
Agency for International Development, it has helped modernize the construction
permit system, providing new software and training for staff. Kabul also
opened a one-stop shop where prospective builders can go to obtain construction
permits. The project’s progress was marked at a ceremony attended by Kabul’s
mayor and other officials earlier this month.
“We are committed to creating the right
enabling environment for the construction permit process and implementing
the city’s development plans,” said,Abdullah Jan Habibzai, Kabul's acting
mayor. “The project has also helped us develop the right legal and regulatory
framework for permit processing and train our staff to deliver the best
Mohammad H. Qayoumi, senior advisor
to Afghanistan's president, said: “About 80 percent of economic activities
are carried out in cities and construction is a major part of the country’s
economy. Simplifying the construction permit process will encourage investments
in the sector. I hope other organizations follow the same path to simplifying
complicated permit processes.”
The ceremony included the formal opening
of the municipality’s newly established one-stop shop for construction
permits and a presentation of a new online system for the permits, which
will be introduced this month.
“Our goals with this project were to
improve the investment climate and contribute to sustainable development
in Afghanistan,” said Nadeem Siddiqui, IFC Country Manager for Afghanistan
and Pakistan. “We are pleased that construction permit practices have
been aligned with international best practices and we hope this lays a
foundation for further reforms in the country.”
The project was part of IFC’s Advisory
Services program in Afghanistan, which is focused on improving access to
finance, especially for smaller businesses, supporting agribusiness, and
enhancing the investment climate. That is part of a larger effort to support
the development of the private sector and spur job creation, especially
in the areas of infrastructure, finance, and agribusiness.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our
six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most.
In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly
$18 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the
private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more
information, visit www.ifc.org.