Electricity in Northern Afghanistan – Promoting Economic Growth and Reducing Poverty

In order to ensure a reliable energy supply and the associated economic growth, the German Government is providing support for the construction of electricity transmission and distribution grids in rural regions of Northern Afghanistan,


About 30% of Afghans have access to grid-based electricity, one of the lowest figures in the world. In Northern Afghanistan in particular, many towns, cities and villages are not connected to the national electricity grid. This has the effect of preventing many people from accessing public services (such as health care, education and public security) that are dependent on a reliable electricity supply.

It also limits economic development. The gaps in the transmission infrastructure mean that even minor operational disruptions lead to major power cuts in the supply regions of Northern Afghanistan, making it necessary to employ diesel generators, which, in addition to being detrimental to the environment, place a considerable cost burden on companies and households.


The programme seeks to provide the Afghan people, companies and public institutions with environmentally and climate friendly energy wherever possible, thereby stimulating growth in the Afghan economy, combating poverty and facilitating access to education in the long term.

Measures & Results

In order to expand energy infrastructure to improve electricity transmission in Northern Afghanistan, the programme is advising the Afghan partners on the selection of locations and on planning and implementation.

Providing an electricity supply in Northern Afghanistan entails a whole host of activities: the construction of high voltage transmission lines to expand regional grids and facilitate electricity imports, the installation of new or enhanced substations and, if relevant, local distribution grids to supply nearby communities.

Other construction work, such as the installation of control and regulation technology, is designed to help integrate electricity grids, reduce electricity losses and achieve a higher degree of grid stability. All of these measures help to create additional service connections for individuals, commercial enterprises and public institutions. They also increase transmission power at investment locations. Moreover, expanding modern transmission and distribution grids reduces the need to use diesel generators, thus cutting environmentally harmful emissions.

At a glance

North Afghanistan.
Regional Electricity Transmission in the North
Commissioned by:
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Afghan Ministry of Energy and Water, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS - Afghanistan’s national power utility), Asian Development Bank
Implementing organisations:
KfW Development Bank
Northern provinces
Programme objective:
Strengthen electricity transmission infrastructure in Northern Afghanistan through targeted investment;
Overall term:
2017 – 2022