Institut français d’Afghanistan (IFA) is one of the best-known cultural institutions in the Afghan capital. It was created by President Georges Pompidou, then Prime Minister, who laid the foundation stone on May 8, 1968.
Since then, the IFA has remained a unique venue for cultural events, meetings, exchanges and debates. In 1970, when it was inaugurated, the Institute was named the Franco-Afghan Center. Between 1983 to 2002, the Franco-Afghan Center was forced to close because of the various conflicts that erupted across the country.
In 2003, the French Cultural Center reopened its doors to the public and regained its rightful place in the Afghan cultural landscape.
In the aftermath of the Paris conference on June 12, 2008, President Nicolas Sarkozy decided to substantially increase French aid to Afghanistan.
One of his goals was to promote culture and education. In 2009, the French embassy launched an ambitious rehabilitation program for the Esteqlal and Malalaï high schools, followed by a renovation of the IFA in Kabul.
After a little less than a year of major work, the French Cultural Center reopened on September 20, 2010. During the 4 days of ceremonies and festivities related to the inauguration, more than 4000 people were able to participate in the culturals and educations activities.
On January 1, 2011 the French Cultural Center became Institut français d’Afghanistan (IFA); IFA is currently one of the finest institutes in the entire Asia region.