Assessing the Productive Use Potential of Various Districts for Prioritising Project Areas - Afghanistan

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Only 6-10% of the rural population of Afghanistan currently have access to electricity. In order to expand supply to a greater proportion of the rural population and provide electricity for long-term rural development, it is crucial to improve the performance of public and private organisations in the rural electrification sub-sector in Afghanistan.[1]


In 2008, a field study of population patterns, economic activities and their potential development was undertaken in Afghanistan with the aim of selecting districts for new power supply systems under the „Decentralised energy supply with renewable in Afghanistan“ (ESRA) programm.

The study, combining secondary data with a collection of primary data, sought to draw a more precise profile of the most relevant districts and to highlight their role and context for economic development.

Analysis covered the following fields:

  • natural resources and agricultural & livestock potentials
  • population profiles and migrations patterns
  • governance: district administration and government bodies (including local branches of line ministries), their competences and effectiveness
  • priority of energy projects in provincial, district and village development plans
  • accessibility (road infrastructure)
  • public services (schools and hospitals, etc.).

As a first step towards data collection, GIZ liaised with the Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW) to furnish an official letter of introduction aimed at establishing contact with the relevant district authorities. This letter was key to the successful field visits undertaken by a consultant, as it opened doors to the Department of Energy and Water (DoEW) in each district, which in turn helped to request assistance from various key government agencies, including the District Department of Agriculture (DoA), District Department of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (DRRD), District Department of Education (DoE), District Department of Public Health (DoPH), and the district heads of municipalities, etc.

Once data had been collected and reporting finalised, priority districts were identified based on an overall priority ranking of all districts surveyed. Energy planners then reviewed and confirmed these rankings.


Further Information


Experience from GIZ’s ESRA programme in Afghanistan

  1. Capacity Assessment in the Subsector of Rural Electricity Supply through Renewable Energy Technologies Summary Report, December 2009: