Frequently Asked Questions
Harakat aims to make doing business easier in Afghanistan, to support investment and economic growth and a better future for the country.

To achieve this, Harakat provides grant funds for activities that reduce the barriers to doing effective business in Afghanistan. These barriers may be issues like complicated government rules and procedures, corruption, bureaucracy, inadequate skills etc.
Harakat is a grant facility, making funds available for projects that will support our objectives.
Currently, Harakat has GBP30 million (˜US$50 million), provided by DfID (UK Department for International Development), to fund projects aimed at promoting the business environment throughout Afghanistan. We aim to build this into a US$100million fund by attracting additional donor and private sector funding.
Harakat started operations in June 2008, and will run for a total of Seven years, closing in mid 2015.
Currently, Harakat is run by a Board of prominent business people:
  1. Chairman: Mr.Karim Khoja - CEO, Roshan;
  2. Ms. Malalai Wassil - Attorney;
  3. Mr. Tamim Samee - CEO, Digistan;
  4. Mr. Khalil Sediq - CEO, Afghanistan International Bank;
  5. Mr. David Crichton - International Development Advisor; and
  6. Mr. Simon White - Business Development Specialist.
The daily running of the facility is managed by the Secretariat team, headed by Mr. Naseem Akbar CEO of Harakat.
  1. Financial markets that provide greater access to finance and affordable credit to all sizes of businesses, especially SMEs
  2. Streamlined and more effective regulations and creation of regulatory impact assessment systems
  3. Increased private sector investment in infrastructure, especially energy, water, agriculture and transportation
  4. More equitable and efficient taxation and customs systems
  5. Strengthened property rights and more effective contract enforcement
  6. Higher workforce productivity and mobility and improved labour market regulation
  7. Strengthened competition policy that reduces anti-competitive practices
  8. Improved capacity of government and institutions to tackle corruption
Some examples include:
  • introduction of improved government procedures;
  • advocacy campaigns to reform laws or regulations;
  • mechanisms to improve workforce productivity or conditions;
  • introduction of monitoring tools and functions to tackle corruption;
  • information, awareness and outreach activity;
  • business skills programmes, and
  • feasibility studies.
There are two stages in applying for funding. First, you need to submit a four-pages Concept Note application. Guidance notes are provided to help applicants answer each question fully. If Harakat’s Board considers the Concept Note to be a good fit with our strategic priorities and the selection criteria, you will be invited to sumbit a more detailed proposal (the second stage).

If you are selected to submit a proposal, Harakat’s Proposal Development Unit will be available to help you in preparing it.

There will be a number of grant-awarding rounds each year from 2008 to 2013.
Complete the Concept Note form in accordance with the instructions and submit an electronic version to any member of the Proposals Development Unit and/or to: If possible, deliver a hardcopy to the Harakat office. Applications will be accepted in English, Dari or Pashto.
Harakat will not fund direct investment in infrastructure and will not provide direct capital investment.
Our priority is to fund Afghan registered businesses and/or government departments, but there is no restriction with regard to the nationality of the applicants.

All applications relating to the core business of the Government of Afghanistan must have the Government as the primary applicant, but can be supported by third parties.
All institutions - government, private sector or civil society - are eligible to apply for grant funding.

Harakat will use the criteria below to make a preliminary assessment of whether a project and the applicant individual/organisation(s) are eligible for Harakat funding.
The key criteria are the Concept’s:
  • fit with Harakat’s priority outcomes;
  • likelihood of the project being successfully implemented (viability); and
  • measurable impact on the environment for doing business in Afghanistan.
Harakat prides itself on being a responsive, fast-moving facility and will aim to give an initial assessment within 10 days from the date of receiving the idea.
If a project is approved, the Executive Secretariat will prepare a grant contract which will set out all payment terms. Grant payments will normally be paid in tranches at pre-agreed project milestones. First payment can be expected within 30 days.
Funding is provided as a grant. It does not have to be paid back, unless there is an unspent portion at the end of the grant period or if the project is cancelled.
There is no minimum or maximum amount, but Harakat wishes to make as much difference as possible to the investment environment, in an effective manner.
Yes, Harakat is very supportive of partnership and consortium approaches and will fund projects that are partly funded by other entities, provided they meet all the eligibility criteria.
Yes; if you were unsuccessful then you may submit other Concept Notes for consideration.

If you have already had a project successfully funded by Harakat and have other ideas, you may also submit other Concept Notes for consideration.
Absolutely! If profit-making is supportive of a project’s sustainability, then Harakat would be delighted to see a successful project creating private sector growth in Afghanistan.

However, Harakat will not fund a project that will give a business an unfair competitive advantage over another business.
Harakat is looking to support private sector development throughout all of Afghanistan.
There are many other successful organizations currently working to promote stable business environments in developing countries.

Harakat was loosely modeled on the Africa Investment Climate Facility(ICF), a USD500 million fund which has successfully funded projects to break down barriers to doing business.

An example of a project funded by ICF Africa is the Rwanda Investment Climate Project which assisted the Government to establish a Commercial Court; create a new Commercial Registration Services Agency and improve its land titling and registration system.

The Bangladesh Investment Climate Facility and the Nepal Investment Climate Facility are similar facilities, and are making a positive impact on the investment climate in Bangladesh and Nepal.
Harakat’s Monitoring and Evaluation team will assess the impact of each project that Harakat funds.
Paperwork can be downloaded from the Harakat website ( where there are detailed instructions on how to complete the forms.

Alternatively, please feel free to contact us at: or on +93 (0) 752 044 000 and our team will be glad to assist you with the necessary documentation and guide you through its completion.

Please do get in touch!
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