Afghan-German Cooperation’s Economic Development Programme Extended – 37,000 People Benefit

Yesterday at a ceremony in Kabul, the Ministry of Industries and Commerce (MoIC), signed the amended implementation agreement for the Afghan-German Cooperation’s programme for Sustainable Economic Development and Employment Promotion (SEDEP). The amendment confirmed the programme’s continuation from January 2019 to June 2020 and accompanying funding of AFN 1.125 billion. About 37,000 people will benefit. Mr Zohoroddin Shirzada, Deputy Minister at MoIC, attended the event along with representatives from ministries, stakeholders and the Afghan-German Cooperation.

Deputy Minister for Industries and Private Sector Development at MoIC, Mr Zohoroddin Shirzada stated, ‘We appreciate the SEDEP programme not only for creating sustainable jobs but for supporting the value chain of agricultural products in six northern provinces. SEDEP is a game-changer in improving the livelihood of Afghan citizens.’

About 23,000 people from 1,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and farms – 23% of which are managed by women – will benefit from the extended programme. Additionally, 14,000 returnees and internally displaced persons will receive support for generating their own income.

The overall objective of SEDEP is to increase the economic capability of stakeholders – such as farmers, suppliers, cooperatives, and political decision-makers – in five select value chains. These value chains include poultry, dairy, vegetables, wheat and nuts.

Within each of the five value chains, SEDEP aims to improve the technical and entrepreneurial skills of farmers and MSMEs. It intends to facilitate access to improved irrigation systems, storage infrastructure and processing facilities. Further, it focuses on identifying barriers for business development at the district, province and national level, particularly addressing gender-specific obstacles. Finally, it aims to improve the starting opportunities for returnees. These objectives will help create new jobs and income opportunities.

Representatives from MoIC, the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Rural Development (MRRD), the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), and the Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WCCI) attended the ceremony. SEDEP cooperates with each of these bodies to carry out its aims.

Bilateral governmental negotiations last took place in Kabul in September 2018, where the German government agreed to fund SEDEP’s programme phase from January 2019 until June 2020 with AFN 1.125 billion. This brings its total budget up to AFN 2 billion for the programme from November 2017 until June 2020.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements the programme Sustainable Economic Development and Employment Promotion (SEDEP) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The programme aims at creating new jobs and income opportunities for all Afghans. Activities focus on five value chains, including nuts, dairy, poultry, wheat and vegetables. Between 2014 and 2016, SEDEP has organised agricultural training courses for almost 23,000 Afghans, covering cattle management, controlled breeding and seed production. In addition, from 2015 to 2016, more than 6,700 long-term and more than 6,000 seasonal jobs have been created and incomes of employees, including 43 % women, have increased by 30 %.