Earlier this ear, the Markets, Enterprise and Trade team at Landell Mills was awarded a contract by the World Bank to carry out an Institutional Options Analysis for the next phase of the Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development program in Afghanistan. The AREDP pilot is a five year programme that has been effective since 14 June 2010. Over the course of the past four years, it has demonstrated that the model of the community based savings and enterprise groups can work in Afghanistan, and that given time and support, village level financial institutions can emerge and operate successfully.
Beyond this significant achievement, it has also shown the potential and created the foundations for an integrated approach to policy development and co-ordinated implementation efforts to address the key constraints to rural enterprise development (for both micro and small/medium enterprises) in Afghanistan:
- Access to finance
- Access to skills, knowledge and technology
- Access to markets
Due to the economic and demographic circumstances in Afghanistan, the justification for AREDP is as pressing today as it was when the programme was first conceived – if not more so as Afghanistan approaches a period of transition. It is the view of Landell Millls that with some strategic and operational realignment, AREDP would be positioned to become the key player in the rural enterprise development sphere in Afghanistan, with a specific and differentiated mandate.