KABUL - Afghanistan’s leading total communications provider, on Thursday announced it has secured funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to support the rollout of the company’s 3G and high speed data services throughout the country. IFC will provide Roshan debt financing for the amount of $65 million. This most recent injection of capital from IFC will enable Roshan to continue to expand its infrastructure and provide the highest quality network and services to its six million customers. Since Roshan was founded in 2003, it has concluded three earlier rounds of financing totaling almost $200 million. All of these previous loans have been fully paid on schedule.
A decade ago when Roshan began its operations, less than100,000 people had access to mobile telecommunications. To date, the company has invested more than $550 million in infrastructure to create a state-of-the-art, high quality, network that provides coverage to over 65 percent of the population in 230 cities and towns in all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. Today, Roshan’s customers not only have access to basic voice services, but can also access the internet, social media channels, and additional value added services including mobile banking. Roshan currently offers high-speed data services that are available nationwide and 3G will further complement the existing network infrastructure and provide faster access to services.
“In just a short period of time, the Afghan telecommunications market has grown rapidly and Roshan spearheaded that development. The ability to speak to one another is a basic human need and over ten years, Roshan has played an integral role in achieving this milestone. Now we are ready to lead the broadband revolution for Afghanistan’s next generation,” Karim Khoja, Roshan, Chief Executive Officer, said. “Apart from providing even faster speed and access for our customers, 3G’s enhanced connectivity enables greater access to vital, quality telecommunications that stimulate social and economic development in a host of sectors such as healthcare, education and finance. This will allow Roshan to build on our telemedicine, e-education and mobile banking applications that are already helping to develop and fast-track the country’s infrastructure,” Khoja added.
"As we have seen in countless places, the ability to communicate is vital for economic development," said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa. "This agreement will help bring the internet to the doorstep of Afghans, opening up a world of possibilities."
One of Roshan’s main goals is to be a catalyst for socio-economic development and harnessing the power of telecommunications to bring about measureable change in Afghanistan. In 2007 Roshan started its Telemedicine project linking the French Medical Institute for Children (FMIC) in Kabul to the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi (AKUH). Since then, the Telemedicine Project has expanded to include Bamyan Hospital (2010) and Faizabad Hospital (2011)to deliver remote medical care, diagnosis, treatment and training to populated and isolated areas of the country. With the addition of 3G, this will spur even further development and greater connectivity to those areas that need it the most.
Roshan (Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd) is Afghanistan's leading total communications provider with over six million active subscribers and a network that provides coverage to over 65 percent of the population in all 230 cities and towns in all of the country's 34 provinces.
Roshan is a true Afghanistan success story, serving as a catalyst for economic growth and actively contributing to the country's long-term development. Since its inception ten years ago, Roshan has invested over $550 million in Afghanistan and is the country's single largest investor and taxpayer, contributing approximately five of the Afghan government's overall domestic revenue. Roshan directly employs more than 1,200 people, 20 percent of whom are women, and provides indirect employment to more than 40,000 people.
Roshan is deeply committed to Afghanistan's reconstruction and development. The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), is a major shareholder of Roshan and promotes private initiatives and building economically sound enterprises in the developing world. Also owned in part by Monaco Telecom International (MTI) and TeliaSonera, Roshan brings international expertise to the country and is committed to the highest standards of network quality and coverage for the people of Afghanistan. (PR)