|Abstract or Summary
- Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world with 35% of its people live below the poverty line. 70% of Afghans have no access to electricity, and 90% of those without electricity live in the rural areas. Since 2002, more than $4 billion have been spent on Afghanistan’s power infrastructure and electrification, yet there are considerable deficiencies in the sector and this investment only increased the rate of electrification by 22%, which is phenomenally below expectations. This indicates institutional, policy and planning problems in the energy sector which need to be carefully considered. Given that only 9% of the rural population and 30% of the urban population have access to electricity, what policy and sector reforms are required to facilitate universal access to electricity in Afghanistan? What are policy and institutional constraints that restrict the electrification rate? This study attempts to find answers to the above research questions by using the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework.
The findings of the study reveal that because of ambiguity, overlaps and contradiction in scope of work and mandates of five government ministries exacerbated the current challenges. The lack of a unified, harmonized and coordinated development agenda of more than ten international development partners in the power sector have led to inadequate and inaccurate prioritization of investments. This outcome resulted in low electrification rate and diminished institutional capacity. The study also unveils that the institutional capacity, despite enormous investment on its capacity building and training, did not improve and the key component for the sector i.e. the regulatory framework is not in place until today. Consequently, it delayed the private investment in the power sector for a decade.