During a meeting on Wednesday, Dec 21st the WB Mission met with the MCIT leadership and discussed on various issues including the ongoing projects, the PPG (Program Preparation Grant) and the new project called Digital CASA. H.E the Minister Vahidi welcomed the team and shared them some information on approved open Access Policy, MCT strategic plan and the Result Based Management (RBM)-being newly exercised at MCTI various departments.
Following that Mr. Rajendera, head of the Mission from WB, congratulated MCIT on new initiatives and called those very fundamental steps towards telecom development and better service delivery to Afghan citizens.
He then talked about the implementation of the current ICTDP under WB and suggested the need for conducting a thorough evaluation and monitoring of the Fiber Optics projects along the three different routes, namely the north eastern, southern and central parts. He added: “The projects implementation has almost come into end and that needs to be monitored to find out what data is being newly transferred and how does this impact the local community.” He also highlighted the importance of the Khost-Ghulam Khan Border fiber route for internal and regional connectivity and requested MCIT to get the 20 KM fiber repaired by AFTEL as soon as possible because that would facilitate the connectivity of the MoF Costume Department there.
Mr. Rajendera also provided information on PPG and the new programme of WB for ICT sector. He said: “The PPG is already available and the board of directors will be conducted on 30th June, 2017 to discuss and finalize the Digital CASA.” He said that Kazakhstan has already approved the project and we are in the process of negotiation with other regional countries mainly the Tajikistan, the Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
Mr. Vahidi appreciated the generosity and hard work of the World Bank team and asked them to expedite the process for the new project. He said: “It is a very important project both for Afghanistan and for the region. The overall approach is to find as many data transit routes as possible and consequently pave the way for better connectivity of public institutions for example schools, hospitals and universities and gradually implement the E-Governance project with government agencies at center and provincial levels.”
Another issue discussed was the use of mobile application for the connectivity of citizens under the Citizen Charter Program. H.E the Minister Vahidi, assigned Mr. Aimal Marjan, the Deputy IT to discuss with relevant government ministries and find out what support was needed from MCTI. He also, asked Mr. Marjan to work with ICT companies and the Mobile operators in order to facilitate for the use of 30 Mobile applications developed under HOSA project.