Harakat – Afghanistan Investment Climate Facility Organization (H-AICFO) was established in 2008 and is registered with the Ministry of Economy, Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). Harakat was founded with funding of GBP30 million from the United Kingdom through the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) and Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). Harakat’s mission is remove and reduce regulatory and institutional barriers in Afghanistan and support private sector investments, economic growth and employment across the country. Harakat has managed the disbursement of grants to government, public and private sector partners, covering priority outcome areas and laid the foundation for private sector reforms in Afghanistan by successfully implementing projects addressing specific barriers to do business. Harakat continues to work with the Afghan government, various stakeholders and the donor community to coordinate and promote an enabling business environment that is predictable, easy to comply with, provides equal opportunities, and encourages fair competition.
Harakat has recently also entered into a contract with USAID funded Afghanistan Value Chain – High Value Crops (AVC-HVC) program to deliver the Af-Pak Trade and Transit project.
Harakat works with partners across all sectors on investment climate reform projects that will build a better enabling environment for private sector development and growth in Afghanistan.
While it has been correctly said that the private sector is the engine of economic growth, it is equally true that a supportive, healthy public sector creates the climate where growth flourishes. To that end, Harakat works closely with the Government of Afghanistan, strengthening the role of government in this important reform, reconstruction and stabilisation phase in Afghanistan's development. As a non-political body, Harakat connects government with the private sector, to find common reform interests.
Harakat works closely with the private sector, as both a facilitator to identify key areas for reform, and as a project partner. Harakat continues to build on "Private Sector Priorities for Reform Conference" which was held with ACCI in Kabul in 2014. In particular, Harakat works with key stakeholders, including the Office of the President and Ministers, private sector and international partners to advocate for coordination among stakeholders and implementation of private sector reform priorities.
Civil society partners are essential for building transparency, and broad-based demand for reform in Afghanistan. In 2015, Harakat explored several mechanisms for systematically collaborating with civil society partners. The key trend that emerged was how to encourage civil society to pick business and investment as one of their priorities.
Harakat was established with the intent that donors and the private sector fund it. To date, it has received funding from the UK Department of International Development (DFID) (the founder of Harakat) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). Other development agencies, including the World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), have either co-financed or collaborated with Harakat on projects, or have supported Harakat as implementing partners.