AWCC LAUNCHES PAYGO—AFGHANISTAN’S FIRST-EVER OFF-GRID SOLAR POWERED ELECTRICAL LIGHTING AND POWER SERVICE

Dedication Ceremony Held at Bayat Media Center, Is Attended by A Capacity Crowd of Strategic Partners From IFC, d.light, Lighting Global, GSM Association, DABS, And Senior Afghan Governmental Officials

 Kabul— January 20, 2019 — Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC), the nation’s first mobile communications company, and Afghanistan’s leading provider of 4G LTE HD Voice, data, entertainment and mobile payment services to over 5 million consumers and businesses, in cooperation with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, announced the  launch of  PAYG— or Pay As You Go, Afghanistan’s first of its kind solution to provide safe and affordable off-grid, solar powered home lighting and small-scale electrical power services to Afghans who do not have access to Afghanistan’s national power utility network.

AWCC and IFC are implementing the PAYG initiative in partnership with a consortium, of the world’s most prestigious communications, social enterprise and power-services organizations: Lighting Global, GSM Association, d.light and DABS, Afghanistan’s national power utility.

AWCC’s solar powered lighting and power systems are manufactured by d.light (www.dlight.com), a developer of off-grid solar powered home lighting and power systems that are used by over 85 million people in 65 countries. IFC is supporting the initiative through its Lighting Afghanistan (LA) program, an initiative dedicated at creating markets for high quality and affordable off-grid energy products and services (www.lightingglobal.org).

Structured as a Pay As You Go service, individuals who enroll in AWCC’s PAYG Program—also known as ‘Cheraghe Khana—The Gift of Light,’ will be able to pay for their lighting and power systems using AWCC’s My Money mobile payments service, Afghanistan’s largest mobile payments platform. Each month, a small fee to pay for the use of AWCC’s PAYG service will be deducted from the user’s mobile account balance. Clients may also pay their monthly fee in person at any AWCC Brand Shop.

AWCC and its strategic partners debut today Afghanistan’s first PAYG service during an official ceremony held at The Bayat Media Center. Mr. Amin Ramin, Managing Director of Afghan Wireless said, “Today, our PAYG service—this Gift of Light—will provide thousands of Afghans access to safe, clean and affordable electric lighting and power—no matter where they live in Afghanistan.”

Following an address of welcome delivered by Mr. Christopher Lundh, AWCC’s Head of Commercial Operations, the audience listened attentively to speeches delivered by Mr. Amanullah Ghalib CEO of DABS, Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan, Mr. Mohammad Gul Khulmi, Minister of Ministry of Energy and Water, and Mr. Mohammad Essa Qudrat, Deputy Minister of Programs, MRRD.

“Bringing The Gift of Light to Afghanistan would have been impossible without the tremendous dedication and determination of our strategic partners from the WB-IFC, d.light, DABS, LightingGlobal and the GSM Association,” said Dr. Ehsanollah Bayat, CEO of Afghan Wireless and the Chairman of The Bayat Group. “Together, may our hard work and unbreakable commitment to our nation provide all Afghans not only with The Gift of Light, but also The Gift of Prosperity and above all, The Gift of Hope.”

The World Bank Group has been supporting Afghanistan’s electrification efforts through a number of programs and interventions. “Increasing access to energy is essential to reducing poverty in the country. The World Bank Group is committed to working directly with the government and supporting the private sector through programs such as IFC’s Lighting Afghanistan to support the millions living off the grid,” commented WBG country director Chaudhuri, who spoke at the launch event.

 About Afghan Wireless:

The Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC) (www.afghan-wireless.com) is Afghanistan’s first wireless communications company and the founder of Afghanistan’s wireless communications market. AWCC provides 4G LTE, 3.75G+, 3G, 2.5G, Voice, Data, Internet and

Mobile Payment Services to more than five million Business and Consumer Clients, located in all of Afghanistan’s thirty-four provinces. The Company has global partnerships with 425 wireless carrier networks in 125 countries.  AWCC was founded in 2002 by Mr. Ehsan Bayat, Chairman of The Bayat Group (www.bayat-group.com). Mr. Bayat is the recipient of the 2018 award for Best Media and Telecom CEO from International Finance Magazine.

About IFC-World Bank

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, IFC delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

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