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News and Views

First Ever Afghan Participation in Largest ICT Exhibition

In an effort to expand the country’s market linkages with other information communications technology (ICT) firms, Afghanistan will make its first appearance at CeBIT. Regarded throughout the world as the largest and most influential marketplace for ICT, the CeBIT exhibition attracts participants, buyers and sellers from 100 countries who gather in Hanover, Germany each spring to discover and promote the latest trends of the digital age.

Four leading software development and IT companies from Afghanistan will attend the trade fair scheduled for March 4-9: Xala Technologies, NETLINKS, Paiwastoon Networking Services and Trend Com. Their participation is organized by the National ICT Association of Afghanistan (NICTAA) and sponsored by USAID’s Afghanistan Small and Medium Enterprise Development (ASMED) project.

According to Omar Mansoor Ansari, President of NICTAA, “Afghanistan is one of the least developed countries; however, its growth in the ICT sector is remarkable. We have had the highest ICT growth level in the region, just with the few years of tapping into the information communications technology; this, indeed, is fabulous, and we need to tell these good stories to the world.”

NICTAA believes the event will provide Afghan participants the opportunity to reach a large international audience of qualified professionals and that they will make valuable new contacts and pave the way for lasting business relationships in the future. CeBIT will also be a good place to identify new market trends, offering the attendees exposure to valuable new ideas that will inspire future work.

Bryan Rhodes, Chief of Party for USAID/ASMED, says the project is pleased to support the development of Afghanistan’s ICT sector. He went on to say that “ASMED is sponsoring the participation of NICTAA, one of our key Afghan business associations and a USAID partner, because we believe the event will offer a great business opportunity for Afghan businesses.”
NICTAA is an umbrella association of the ICT sector and a key visionary in the country. It promotes ICT as a sector, a tool and an enabler to support economic growth, trade, e-commerce, education, civic education, democracy, human rights, business ethics and free market principles in Afghanistan.

The USAID/ASMED project is a three-year small and medium enterprise development assistance program that provides technical assistance and financial support to the very important SME sector and the organizations that support SMEs throughout Afghanistan. It has an overarching goal to increase opportunities for trade, employment, and investment in Afghanistan.

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