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A Snapshot of Afghanistan's Private Sector

April 7, 2022



Picture of speakers for Afghanistan private sector event

  • The political crisis in Afghanistan in August 2021 brought about rapid and momentous changes to the country’s social and economic situation. The economy was already facing daunting challenges driven by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, persistent insecurity, declining foreign aid, and weakened private sector confidence. The World Bank conducted a rapid survey of firms to obtain a quick snapshot of how the business enabling environment has changed since August 2021 and the impact of the crisis on firms in Afghanistan.

    Join us for the virtual launch of The Private Sector in Afghanistan: Results from a Rapid Survey of Firms.  Our speakers will reflect on key findings, how they help develop a better understanding of the situation on the ground, and how they can be used for shaping the international response.

  • TIME


    9.30 – 9.35 AM

    Opening Remarks

    Melinda Good, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan

    9.35 – 9.50 AM

    Presentation of the Survey Findings

    Mohammad Sulaiman Akbari, Senior Private Sector Specialist, World Bank

    9.50 – 10.30 AM

    Panel Discussion

    • Manizha Wafeq, President, Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry
    • Hojat Fazly, Chief Executive Officer, HARAKAT-Afghanistan

    Moderated by Wagma Mohmand, Senior Country Officer, IFC

  • Manizha-Wafeq150.jpg

    Manizha Wafeq

    President, Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry

    Manizha Wafeq is a women’s economic empowerment expert and practitioner, policy advocate, business and gender trainer. Her persistent advocacy work led to the creation of Afghanistan Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI). Her influential lobbying has resulted in the approval of several policy recommendations beneficial to women-owned businesses. In her capacity as Peace Through Business country facilitator, she has trained and mentored around 600 women from over 17 provinces in the last 14 years. She is also the founder of Bibi Khadija Award, an annual award honoring successful businesswomen and role models in Afghanistan.

    Hojat-Fazly 150.jpg

    Hojat Fazly

    CEO, Harakat-Afghanistan

    Hojat Fazly is an international political economist and development practitioner; his research interests span the fields of global political economy, international relations, and regional cooperation and development studies. Currently, Mr. Fazly serves as the CEO of Harakat-Afghanistan Investment Climate Facility Organization, focusing on public private partnerships, private sector legal and regulatory reform, investment facilitation, women’s economic inclusion, and trade and transit. Prior to this, Mr. Fazly served as the CEO of International Chamber of Commerce in Afghanistan, Economic Policy Analyst with Society for International Development in the Netherlands, and Public Policy Advisor with Government of Afghanistan.


    Melinda Good

    World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan

    Melinda Good is Country Director for Afghanistan for the South Asia region at the World Bank Group. Prior to this, she was the Operations Manager for Pakistan. She joined the World Bank in 2005 and has worked in several leadership positions across the World Bank, including in South Asia. Before joining the World Bank, she worked with the Asian Development Bank in Manila, Philippines, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Washington, DC. She began her career as a private-sector lawyer in New York and Singapore. She has worked in South Asia, East Asia, Central Asia, the Pacific Islands, and North America.


    Mohammad Sulaiman Akbari

    Senior Private Sector Specialist, World Bank

    Mohammad Sulaiman Akbari is Senior Private Sector Specialist at the World Bank. Since joining the Bank in 2014, he has led several lending and advisory projects to improve Afghanistan’s investment climate, export competitiveness, and agribusiness. Prior to joining the World Bank, he worked for Mercy Corps and Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA). In 2013, Asia Society recognized Sulaiman as one of the Asia 21 Young Leaders from across the Asia Pacific region.


    Wagma Mohmand (Moderator)

    Senior Country Officer, IFC

    Wagma Mohmand has been working for private sector development & investments in Afghanistan for the past two decades. Through her work at GIZ’s Economic Promotion Program, she was engaged in the establishment of the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency. She also supported the Minister of Commerce and Industries focusing on donor coordination and investment promotion. She has also conducted research on women’s entrepreneurship and worked for UNDP on creating an enabling environment for SMEs. Currently, she manages IFC’s program in Afghanistan, monitoring developments in the Advisory and Investment service portfolio, developing the pipeline and serving as a Liaison and Relationship Manager for international partners, the Afghan government and business community.


  • WHEN : Thursday, April 7, 9:30 AM ET