Press Release

Dushanbe, June 3, 2024 – In a significant step towards fostering economic growth and technological advancement, the Minister of Industry and New Technologies of the Republic of Tajikistan, Mr. Sherali Kabir, met with ACDI/VOCA President and CEO, Sylvia J. Megret. The meeting, held in the capital, was attended by high-level officials from both sides, signaling a strong commitment to cooperation in key sectors.

Minister Sherali Kabir was joined by Nazar Aziz Savzali, Deputy Minister; Malika Yarbabaeva, Advisor on Textile and Relations with International Partners; Khurshed Najmutdinov, Deputy Head of the Department of Light and Cotton Industry; Azimjon Azimi, Head of AI Council under this Ministry, and K. Komilova, Specialist of the Department of International Relations. Accompanying Sylvia Megret was Cheryl Turner, Executive Vice President, Technical Learning & Application Lead, ACDI/VOCA; Hiqmet Demiraj, Chief of Party, USAID Tajikistan Employment and Enterprise Development Activity (EEDA); and Pavriz Kamoliddinov EEDA Deputy Chief of Party.

The discussions centered around enhancing cooperation in priority sectors identified by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, such as light industry, textiles, food processing, and information technology. Special emphasis was placed on the development of artificial intelligence (AI), highlighting its potential to revolutionize various industries in Tajikistan.

The minister expressed gratitude for the contributions of the United States Government to Tajikistan’s development, particularly noting significant investments in the mining sector, with the U.S. being the second-largest investor. Reflecting on further collaboration, he proposed the establishment of an American technology park in Tajikistan. This ambitious project aims to showcase modern American technologies and foster an environment of innovation. Mr. Sherali Kabir highlighted that launching such a technology park is in line with the strategic partnership between the Republic of Tajikistan and the USA and corresponds to the objectives promoted by the leadership of both countries.

Highlighting the importance of AI, Minister Sherali Kabir noted: “Tajikistan is pioneered on the adoption of a National Artificial Intelligence Strategy in 2023 and the establishment of an Artificial Intelligence Council aiming for AI to contribute 3 percent of the country’s GDP by 2030. An AI academy at Alif Bank has already graduated over 7,000 young people”.

Aziz Nazar, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies of Tajikistan has confirmed that the Ministry, in collaboration with ACDI/VOCA’s Employment and Enterprise Development Activity team, is actively identifying promising business projects. The focus areas include textiles, food processing, AI, and information technologies, with an emphasis on significantly boosting economic growth and technological advancement in these sectors. This concerted effort aims to drive innovation, create job opportunities, and enhance Tajikistan’s competitive edge in the global market.

Sylvia Megret and Azimjon Azimi, Head of the Artificial Intelligence Council under the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Sylvia J. Megret reiterated ACDI/VOCA’s commitment to supporting Tajikistan’s economic potential through innovation and collaboration. She acknowledged the promising demographic trends, with a youthful population averaging 24 years old and growing at 2.4 percent annually, aligning well with American projects focused on youth engagement.

In her speech, Megret emphasized, “Unlocking Tajikistan’s economic potential through innovation and collaboration is key. Providing technical assistance and financial support to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, creating an inclusive environment for women in the industry, and supporting local companies to compete globally are essential steps.”

The meeting underscored a shared commitment to leveraging innovation and strategic collaboration to drive Tajikistan’s economic growth and technological advancement, setting the stage for a robust partnership between the Republic of Tajikistan and the ACDI/VOCA.


Learn more about the USAID Tajikistan Employment and Enterprise Development Activity.

Learn more about our work in Tajikistan.

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