Albanian diaspora individuals shall have more opportunities to contribute to the socio-economic development of Albania. The programme Engagement of Diaspora to the Social and Economic Development of the Country, is funded by the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development and implemented by IOM, the Migration Agency in Albania, in cooperation with the Albanian Government. It aims, inter alia, to create mechanisms to engage with students, professionals and entrepreneurs, in particular, those from the Albanian diaspora in Italy.
Today (18/05), the programme team from IOM Albania and programme partners met the Albanian Diaspora in Lazio region to present and discuss the programme activities. Students, professionals, entrepreneurs, Italian local authorities, representatives of Italian Category Associations and others actively participated in the discussion.
Talking to the Albanian Diaspora members, Manoela Lussi, the Diaspora Programme Manager at IOM Albania, emphasized the added value of this kind of innovative programme in line with the strategic approach centred on the 3Es for action (to enable, engage and empower Diaspora) formulated by IOM.
“Through this Programme you can bring a lot of positive changes to Albania,” she said. “Your participation in our activities can really make a difference in your home country. And for this reason, the Programme aims to support your engagement in the socio-economic development of Albania through the creation of three parallel processes,” she said.
Among the many activities in five selected Italian regions (Lazio, Tuscany, Piedmont, Lombardy and Emilia Romagna), the programme plans to map diaspora individuals’ know-how and skills, then match them with the respective local needs and priorities in Albania. Furthermore, a fellowship scheme targeting diaspora will be designed and implemented during the three years of programme implementation.
The programme will also support investments from Italy to Albania through the creation of an investment-boosting platform named ConnectAlbania, which will rely on the role of diaspora as a development agent.
Business start-ups and spin-offs helmed by Albanians in Italy, especially second generation, will also be supported through the forthcoming start-up fund.
Around half a million Albanians live in Italy, with more than 11,000 young Albanians studying in Italian universities.