Thumbnail speech

Honorable Chairman,
Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU
Excellences, Respected Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen;

First of all, I would take the opportunity and cordially thank the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for inviting me to attend this Plenipotentiary Conference 18. 

It’s a true pleasure and honor to be here on behalf of the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at such an important event. Please allow me to begin by thanking the government of the United Arab Emirates for hosting this important conference and for their kind hospitality. 

It’s indeed a great day to be here with the world’s ICT community. 

Distinguished delegates,

The development in the field of ICT has revolutionized every aspect of human being and the way people communicate or share information in the society now. The ICT usage has now been extended to almost all areas of the society through the consistent efforts of the government, as well as the generous assistance and support provided by the ICT stakeholders, especially ITU.

It is worth mentioning that internet is gaining rapid popularity and the mobile usage has reached an extraordinary level recognizing the growing demand for reliable and affordable Internet connectivity in the region. As a minor contribution in this region, the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has embarked on a number of noteworthy achievements, including;

  • Approval of Open Access Policy (OAP) by the government, which will further support the private sector to invest in Fiber Optics, which will result in strong competition among the operators in terms of service quality and tariffs; 
  • Digital CASA Project, Connecting Afghanistan to China, Central Asia, and Europe through fiber optic: 

The government of Afghanistan has extended the fiber optic network with the total length of 4500 KM to 25 provinces, which enables 90% of Afghans to benefit from the telecommunication services. Afghanistan Fiber is connected to 5 neighboring countries including Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. 

Six GSM operators and one landline operator are providing broadband service throughout the country. Until last June, the total number of GSM active subscribers in the country has exceeded 21.3 Million; the number of Internet Subscribers has reached 9.7 Million, which is a considerable achievement in the last decade. To date, nearly, a total amount of 2.3 Billion USD has been invested in ICT development areas. 

It is a great news for our community that 113 TVs and 310 FM radio are broadcasting throughout the country, while, in the year 2001, we had only one national TV and Radio operator in the country. 

As a member of the International Telecommunication Union, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan fully endorses the visions, goals and targets of UN-SDGs and we commit that in light of SDGs, we could provide standard ICT services and pave the way for private sector to invest in the field of ICT in the country.  

At the end, once again, I would like to thank the UAE authorities for the generous hosting and the ITU for organizing such a valuable event.

I wish you all a successful meeting ahead.

Thank you.