John Sopko, special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, has issued a report that says the U.S. Agency for International Development and the departments of Defense and State have invested more than $2.6 billion in Afghanistan’s information and communications technology sector since 2002.
Sopko said in the audit report dated July 19 DoD obligated at least $2.5 billion in the Afghan ICT industry in support of the Afghan national defense and security forces’ communication requirements.
The report said the State Department allocated more than $83 million in funds to support the country’s rule of law development efforts and media sector, while USAID invested more than $44 million to raise Afghan ministries’ ICT capacity.
Sopko’s SIGAR office noted that the entire scope of U.S. programs to support the Afghan ICT sector is unknown because DoD, State and USAID were not required to monitor projects through a central database.
The three agencies also established units to coordinate their efforts to support the country’s ICT sector, according to the report.
DoD coordinated programs through the telecommunications working group, which has continued to conduct meetings under the U.S. Embassy’s supervision since 2014.
The State managed its ICT programs for Afghanistan through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Group that operated between 2004 and 2008, according to the report.