Afghan female interns to receive stipends through Roshan’s M-Paisa

13/07/2016 14:45
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DUSHANBE, July 13, 216, Asia-Plus – Afghan news agency Khaama Press (KP) reports that Roshan’s M-Paisa, Afghanistan’s leading M-Commerce provider, has been awarded the contract to distribute stipend payments to 9,500 female interns of the Promote-Women in Economy (WIE) program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Aid (USAID).  The contract was awarded through the Promote-WIE implementing partner Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI).

Roshan was the first company to launch a mobile money solution in Afghanistan in 2008. One of the most successful applications used by customers of M-Paisa is to pay salaries all over the country in a safe, transparent and more efficient way.  Today, there are over 40 companies and organizations that are using M-Paisa to pay employee salaries nationwide. M-Paisa currently has over 100,000 active subscribers.

“When we launched M-Paisa, we wanted to bring in the latest technology to foster financial inclusion and to provide Afghans with a solution that supports economic development. We are now able to take that to the next level and bring access to financial services and banking,” said Karim Khoja, CEO of Roshan.  “M-Paisa provides the most transparent and effective payment options for businesses, organizations and government agencies to disburse compensation to recipients. We are planning to further expand and grow M-Paisa through similar partnerships.”

Since its launch, M-Paisa has introduced many innovative features to help companies, government agencies and the Afghan public, conduct their financial transactions more efficiently.  One of the recent features is electricity bill payment, allowing M-Paisa customers to save time and money and have the ability to pay their electricity bill from the convenience of their mobile phones and security of their homes.

Promote is USAID’s largest women’s empowerment program globally that advances opportunities for Afghan women who can become political, private sector, and civil society leaders.  Building upon existing and previous programs for women and girls, Promote is a five-year program targeting the education, promotion, and training of a new generation of Afghan women, aged 18 to 30.  With the goal of increasing women’s contributions to Afghanistan’s development, Promote strengthens women’s rights groups, boosts female participation in the economy, increases the number of women in decision making positions within the Afghan government, and helps women gain business and management skills.

With more than $17 billion spent on development programs in Afghanistan since 2002, USAID provides the largest bilateral civilian assistance program to Afghanistan.  USAID partners with the government and people of Afghanistan to ensure economic growth led by the country’s private sector, establish a democratic and capable state governed by the rule of law, and provide basic health and education services for all Afghans.

Roshan is a leading Afghan telecommunications provider, serving nearly 6.0 million active subscribers.  In January 2003, Roshan was awarded the second GSM license in Afghanistan. This was at a time when there was only one other mobile phone operator (Afghan Wireless) in Afghanistan.  Today, Roshan’s GSM network reaches 240 cities and towns across all of Afghanistan's 34 provinces.  The network covers over 60% of the population, including the most remote rural areas.

Roshan is one of the largest investors, private companies and taxpayers in Afghanistan.  It has invested nearly $600 million in the telecommunications infrastructure in Afghanistan.  Roshan is also continuing to expand its network in areas where there is no or limited cellular coverage.

Roshan introduced 3G in April 2013. It was the third company in the market to have been granted a 3G license after Etisalat (UAE-based telecom), and MTN (South Africa-based telecom), waiting to ensure it could deliver the highest quality service.  It has 3G service in Kabul, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Mazar, Herat, and Kunduz.

The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) assumes the 51% ownership interest in Roshan and Monaco Telecom and TeliaSonera AB own 36.75 percent and 12.25 percent of the shares respectively.   



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