India-Afghan Innovation fair at Mazar-e-Sharif promotes partnership to simulate innovation-lead commercial links
The 2nd India-Afghanistan Innovation Partnership Fair held in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan on March 4-5, 2014, to promote innovative partnerships between the business groups and NGOs of the two countries.
The Balkh Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCI) organised the
fair with the support of FICCI, the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID), Indian Embassy in Afghanistan and
eight Northern Chambers of Commerce and Industries.
More than 40 organisations- 20 from India
and 20 from the nine
provinces of Northern Afghanistan - showcased products and services
in agriculture, mining, clean energy, education, health and ICT.
strategy was to identify and support innovative solutions being
developed, tested and scaled in India, to better the quality of
development in Afghanistan, by improving commercial links between the
two countries. Organizers hopes the fair will become a regular
regional trade meeting that will leverage Indian-Afghan creativity,
expertise, and resources for both countries' benefit.
than 300 business-to-business (B2B) "matchmaking" meetings
held between Afghan businesses and organisations and their Indian
counterparts. These meetings bring together various actors within
Afghanistan's social innovation "ecosystem" to stimulate
and facilitate financial and non-financial contributions from the
private and public sectors in support of development innovation.
Web-based applications in health and education, new technologies
in agriculture and solar products are sectors particularly likely to
benefit from Afghan-Indian deals signed at the fair, organizers
Innovative solutions helped India in increasing
agriculture production, educating many more people in rural India and
preventing diseases such as tuberculosis; this innovation partnership
will help Afghanistan in doing the same, said Viraj Singh, India's
Deputy Chief of Mission.
The fair promoters said they hoped to
bring together actors within Afghanistan's "social innovation
ecosystem" - meaning inventors, social-venture capitalists,
angel investors, donors, service providers, and corporate foundations
-- to stimulate innovation-led development.