Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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President Begaj honors the USAID Office in Albania with the title ‘Knight of the Order of the Flag’

The President of the Republic, H.E.Mr. Bajram Begaj participated today in the ceremony of celebrating the 30th anniversary of the partnership between USAID and Albania, a collaboration that has affected many areas by developing capacities, bringing the best international practices and supporting democratization of the country.

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During the ceremony, President Begaj honored the organization with the title ‘Knight of the Order of the Flag’ with the motivation ‘For the contribution made through programs in the service of the state, nation and citizens, the consolidation of democratic institutions, the promotion of economic development and good governance’.

The Head of State emphasized that, ‘projects in aid of local government for the improvement of services or for the administration of the courts increased the effectiveness and eased the lives of citizens. USAID’s support enabled greater engagement of social actors and their empowerment as advocates of the public interest’, said President Begaj.

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‘USAID’s contribution in sectors such as small business and agri-business have promoted the economic development and human capacities of the country, strengthening the competitiveness of Albanian enterprises’, said President Begaj.

Below, you can read the full speech of President Begaj, at the celebratory activity of the Albania – USAID partnership.

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Honorable Excellency, Ms. Yuri Kim,

Distinguished friends and guests,

30 years ago, Albania left the dictatorship behind and started the journey towards democracy, building the rule of law and economic development.

The difficulties have been many in these three decades, but the hope for a better Albania is just as great; – and the support of friendly countries, which have stood by us, always and unconditionally.

Today, I have the honor to be invited to welcome the 30th anniversary of cooperation with USAID — one of our most dedicated partners during these years.

We are grateful to the American people and government for the assistance provided and we remain committed to further strengthening our strategic partnership relation; to explore every political, diplomatic and economic opportunity for the benefit of our peoples.

The support of the government and the American people through USAID programs, has been beneficial for the consolidation of democratic institutions, the promotion of economic development and good governance.

USAID’s contribution to the private sector, small business and agri-business, has served this sector to provide not only financing, but also technical expertise, promoting the economic development and human capacities of the country.

At a time when many countries are affected by the energy crisis, as a result of the unjustified war in Ukraine, USAID’s assistance in strategic sectors, such as the investment for the integration of the energy market of Albania and Kosovo, is important for the integration into the European markets and the attraction of private investments.

It is commendable, that USAID programs have always had the citizen in the center of attention.

The projects in aid of the local government for the improvement of services, or for the administrative system of the courts, have not only increased the efficiency and transparency of their activity, but have made the lives of citizens easier and reduced the opportunities for corruption.

Even the aid provided in the field of public health, for the reform of the primary system, or the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, aimed at improving services to the citizen.

Focusing on marginalized groups and women, especially in rural areas, has helped build a healthier and more inclusive society.

Civil society plays an important role in a country’s democracy. In general, USAID’s support has enabled greater engagement of social actors and their empowerment as advocates of the public interest.

This is important for the country and democracy, – because they must be the force that pushes forward the reforms and guarantees the necessary pressure for a responsible and transparent government.

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Distinguished friends and guests,

Comprehensive cooperation over the years has strengthened our efforts and achievements to build a more democratic country, more transparent institutions and a more engaged society.

The democratic values that we share, the commitment to economic progress, peace and security, in the region and in the world, are the guarantee for the continuity of our friendship and partnership.

Congratulating the entire USAID team for the work of these 30 years, I am sure that cooperation and joint achievements will continue for a long time, in the interest of our citizens.