Being The Change Needed In Afghanistan: Transforming Lives Using Cellular Technology


Roshan is Afghanistan's leading total communications provider with over 6.5 million active subscribers and a network that covers over 287 districts and cities in all of the country's 34 provinces.

Roshan is a true Afghanistan success story, serving as a catalyst for economic growth and actively contributing to the country’s long-term development. Since its inception in 2003, Roshan has invested approximately $700 million in Afghanistan and is the country’s single largest private investor and taxpayer, contributing approximately five percent of the Afghan government's overall domestic revenue. Roshan directly employs more than 1000 people, 97 per cent of whom are Afghan and 19 per cent of whom are women, and provides indirect employment to more than 35,000 people.

The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), part of the Aga Khan Development.Network (AKDN), is a major shareholder of Roshan and promotes private initiatives and building economically sound enterprises in the developing world. Also owned in part by Monaco Telecom International (MTI) and Telia, Roshan brings international expertise to the country and is committed to the highest standards of network quality and coverage for the people of Afghanistan.

From the start, Roshan set out a model for ethical business, working to break the cycle of corruption which was the norm in the country. This was not the easiest path to take in Afghanistan, but Roshan drew a hard line to conduct business in an ethical manner. This decision proved to be the first of many that would set Roshan apart in Afghanistan. Roshan became an inspiration for Afghans and an example that an ethical business can succeed in the country.

Roshan has always been deeply committed to Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development, and has proven that a communications company — if it is committed to driving economic and social progress — can be a major catalyst for positive change in challenging environments like Afghanistan. Roshan’s ground-breaking services have transformed Afghanistan by unlocking the power of mobile technology. Roshan’s services have given Afghans the ability to communicate with each other and the world, access information, conduct transactions securely, and much more. The company has leveraged its technology to contribute to the improvement of services in Afghanistan – from healthcare to education, and from trade to financial services.

Roshan’s internationally recognized operations have demonstrated that this deep commitment to ethical business, empowerment of Afghans, and equality for women. Through an ethical and sustainable business model that employs Afghans of all backgrounds and trains them to the highest international standards, Roshan has not only created a modern, world-class mobile network in Afghanistan, but also spearheaded the effort to attract direct foreign investment to build the country’s telecommunications infrastructure. By creating the right environment, Roshan has enabled other operators to invest in the country. To date, the telecom industry has seen an investment of over $2.5 billion dollars into Afghanistan. Roshan’s operations have influenced an entire ecosystem with the values that it represents, spreading its impact beyond market share and profit.


In partnership with the government and NGOs, Roshan accelerates the development of technology innovation in Afghanistan. As a key leader in this endeavor, Roshan maximizes sustainability and capacity-building across the country.

In this capacity, Roshan runs a variety of projects. A collaboration with the Aschiana Foundation sees that malnourished children on the streets or in returnee camps get fed – over 40,000 meal packs monthly are distributed. This partnership also supports the reintegration of street-working children into the formal school system. Children can also benefit from Roshan’s development of playgrounds and schools across the country, and its support of accessible curriculum content.  With limited access to cheap and quality healthcare services, Roshan also offers subsidized and digital health services to serve the under-served and those living in remote areas, and offers alternative livelihood programs for women who are victims of conflict.