“$2.3b invested in Afghanistan’s telecom sector,”Dr. Abdullah

KABUL: Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah delivered a speech during the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) event in Dubai on Monday, a statement from his office in Kabul said.
Dr. Abdullah told the event developments in Afghanistan’s telecommunication area since 2001 were unprecedented, adding the number of mobile phone users in Afghanistan in 2017 reached 21.3 million people while 9.7 million people had access to the internet — a significant achievement of the last one decade.
He added $2.3 billion had been invested in the IT area in Afghanistan. Currently 113 television channels and 310 FM radio stations were active in Afghanistan compared to only one radio station and one TV channel in 2001, he said.
Chief Executive went on saying that Afghanistan as a member of ITU supported developments based on the UN outlook and the country was committed to providing standard information and telecommunication technology for its citizens.
Afghanistan is being connected with China, central Asia and Europe through a fiber optic network and progress has been made on the project, he said, adding his country was already to be connected with Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan through the network.
The Afghan government has connected 25 out of 34 provinces of the country through the fiber optic network spread over 4,500 kilometers, therefore 90 percent of Afghans have access to the internet, he said.
The ITU event is held once in every four years. The union was created in 1865 and Afghanistan became its member in 1928.
The Afghan telecommunication and information technology minister also participated in the event.
According to another report, Dr. Abdullah met with ITU Secretary General and congratulated the successful holding of the annual meeting in Dubai. Dr. Abdullah also thanked his support of telecom services in Afghanistan as well as encouraging investors to invest on this sector in the country.
Praising Chief Executive’s attention towards telecom sector in Afghanistan, the ITU Secretary General said his agency was willing to increase telecom capacities and attract more investors in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah also met with a number of Afghan investors in Dubai and he assured them they were a priority of the Afghan government.
The Afghan traders provided information about their businesses to the CE and then asked for solution to problems they faced. They cited insecurity, high taxes, lack of support and cold storages and lack of land for investors in Afghanistan as main problems.
CE Abdullah said all problems traders faced would be reviewed and steps taken for their solution.
The Kabul Times

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