- RURAL DEVELOPMENT
- SUSTAINABLE INFRASTRUCTURE
- GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRACY
- ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
- ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND EMPLOYMENT
The development cooperation between Germany and Albania began in 1988. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been active in Albania on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) ever since. In 2008 GIZ opened an office in Tirana. Currently 94 national and 14 international employees, and seven integrated specialists are working in the country (as of 31.12.2018).
Once the poorest country in Europe, Albania could make some very significant advancements and is now a candidate country to the European Union (EU). Yet, some challenges remain: unemployment is high, particularly among young people, where the current rate is at 30 per cent. 40 per cent of the population work in jobs that are related to agriculture. Since a lot of the equipment in this sector is outdated, productivity is very low. Public Institutions are still weak, infrastructure needs further development and awareness of the environment is not very high. The government is currently undertaking reforms that address challenges in the economic, as well as in the governmental sector.
GIZ in Albania is addressing the problems regarding unemployment. Doing so successfully requires a more competitive private sector. For this reason companies receive support in strengthening their capacities. In the agricultural sector, programmes are helping to improve productivity as well as the economic perspectives of people living in disadvantaged regions. Other focus areas are shortcomings in water supply. Moreover, in many cases waste treatment does not take place according to recent standards. Support in the environmental sector focusses on reducing pollution from solid waste, protecting biodiversity from overuse of the land and preventing floods, particularly in river basins, that might increase due to climate change. Getting closer to an accession to the EU is an integral part of the projects in Albania.
Priority areas of GIZ’s work in Albania are:
- Sustainable Economic Development: increasing the competitiveness of companies, improving the investment climate and amending the economic legislations to the EU aquis, foster vocational training.
- Agricultural and Rural Development: increasing productivity in agriculture, employment in rural areas and strengthening tourism in rural areas.
- Water and Solid Waste: offering support to restructuring the institutional setting of the water sector, providing technical assistance to improve water supply and sanitation in municipalities, supporting Albania in the solid waste management strategy which will lead to improving solid waste management in municipalities.
- In the region the western Balkans receive support in the fields of biodiversity and rural development, adaptation to climate change, legal reforms, the EU integration process, municipal services, trade promotion and energy efficiency.