Contracts signed to provide communications services in remote areas, Taliban says

The Taliban’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has signed a contract with two private telecommunications companies, “Afghan Wireless” and “MTN,” to provide telecommunication services to remote regions across the country.

The office of Taliban’s deputy prime minister for economic affairs in a tweet on Sunday said that the contract, worth 365 million Afghanis (US$4.2 million), was signed in the presence of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the group’s deputy prime minister.

According to the office of the Taliban’s deputy prime minister, the agreement mandates the establishment of 33 telecommunication sites in remote areas of Kandahar, Badakhshan, Nuristan, Uruzgan, Zabul, Kunar, Nangarhar, and Kabul provinces.

While specific data on citizens’ access to telecommunications services remains elusive, previous reports indicated that approximately 90% of the population had been reached by telecommunication networks in recent years. Nevertheless, residents in remote areas have persistently voiced grievances regarding limited or substandard access to telecommunications services.

The return of the Taliban to power in August 2021 following the American-led withdrawal of security forces has thrown the telecommunication sector along with the rest of Afghanistan’s developing economy into disarray.

While government telecommunication services lagging in development, private telecommunication companies are providing most of the country’s communication needs.