AADF in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth organizes the activity “AADF – Strategic Partner in Education”, were attended by the Prime Minister of Albania, Mr. Edi Rama; the AADF Chairman Mr. Michael Granoff, Minister of Education, Sports and Youth Ms. Lindita Nikolla, the AADF Board Members and Co-CEOs, as well as representatives from public and private educational institutions of pre-university and higher education, in Albania.
Signing of the agreements with Government of Albania for three AADF investments to increase quality in education:
Establishment of the School of Leadership for Pre-University Education – After a one-year period of research and study on international models in the field of education management, the AADF and the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth signed a Memorandum of Understanding in November 2017 for the establishment of an independent institution that will enjoy the exclusivity for training and certification of the directors and deputy directors of pre-university education institutions in Albania. This memorandum paved the way for the cooperation between the two institutions to enrich the legal and regulatory framework for the functioning and organization of the School of Leadership, that continues today with the signing of the agreement on co-founding for this institution. The ongoing steps that are expected to be undertaken by this institution are: Countrywide study to identify the needs for training of directors/deputy directors and development of the curriculum based on the findings of this study. AADF funding for this project is $ 2.9 million for the next 10 years, while the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth has provided the premises where the administration of the School of Leadership will be established.
Signing a Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of the CleanScore project – The project started its implementation in June 2016, initially involving only two higher education institutions. During the two years of implementation, the project has been joined by two other institutions and more than 30,000 tests have been scored with the CleanScore technology and methodology, also an international book on entrepreneurship has been translated and published. Three more books in the field of economy are in the process of translation and will be published by the end of 2018. By signing this Memorandum of Understanding, the AADF investment for the period 2019-2024 is formalized for the extension of technology to 14 scoring offices throughout Albania and the translation of 10 new books in the field of economics and teaching. Also, the project’s goal is to build the first electronic platform for academic literature in Albanian. AADF funding for this project is $ 2.7 million for a 6-year period.
Signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Improving the Education Services Center (ASC) – This project started in June 2018 and the first phase will be completed by the end of 2019. The AADF analyzed different models of similar institutions in other countries around the world, while the Albanian Government has provided the new building for the ESC, which will enable the improvement and expansion of centers activities. In addition, AADF will provide expertise in drafting the relevant legal framework for ESC to become an independent institution, both financially and operationally. Prepare a business plan to operate the new model and will also donate ESC the necessary equipment for the preparation, production and scanning of tests. AADF funding to this project for next year is $ 410,000.
The event was concluded with the inauguration of the offices where the administration of the School of Leadership for Pre-university Education Institutions will be established and operate.
The three above projects are a continuation of a $ 32 million investment by AADF to enhance quality, transparency and innovation in the Albanian education system.
An intensive working weekend with BID / TID administrators / consultants and board members was organized on June 29th – July 1st in Gjirokastra. The meeting aimed at strengthening the BID / TID network in Albania and also to report and discuss on mutual issues and improvement instruments for the area and association’s work.
During the meeting there was plenty of interest and discussion regarding the various instruments used by the associations to improve financial sustainability and the services that each association provides to the businesses in the respective areas. The meeting was also welcomed by the Mayor of Gjirokastra, Zamira Rami, who appreciated the cooperation and partnership with AADF for the social and economic transformation of the Gjirokastra Bazaar area and further.
To enhance the experience, the group participated in the artistic event “The true Apology of Socrates” by actor Mirush Kabashi, organized in the premises of Odeon. The event that was attended by around 1,200 persons, was organized by businesses of the TID area with the support of TID Gjirokastra association, Gjirokastra Municipality and AADF.
The visit to the TID Gjirokastra and the meetings with the businesses of the area enriched even more the participants’ experience in the study tour.
A team of local and international experts engaged in the evaluation of applications which in general were very good. At the end the jury concluded with the following shortlist of excellent teams that will continue in the second phase.
Thank you to all for their efforts and interest to work with us on this ambitious, transformational project. Congratulations to the shortlisted! Looking forward to see your proposals.Grimshaw
– Architects LLP (UK) Team
– MCA Architectes Srl (IT) Team
– AKA Studio (IT) Team
– Archea Associati Srl (IT) Team
– Proap Landscape Architecture Lda (PT) Team
The AADF and the Faculty of Economy of the University of Tirana hosted an Open Lecture for Undergraduate and Graduate students. AADF Chairman Mr. Michael Granoff spoke about the beginning of the Albanian-American Enterprise Fund and the impact it has had on the Albanian economy. He also discussed the establishment of the foundation and the areas where the foundation operates. He addressed impact and the criteria used to measure success (i.e. touching as many people as possible and improving the leadership of the country).
Mr. Granoff stressed that to achieve success and to remain successful all organizations that operate in dynamic environments should embrace change and innovation, while remaining loyal to the core values of their mission. He highlighted the importance of education and used the education system in the U.S.A. as an example since American students have the freedom and are encouraged to explore different fields before deciding what profession they want to pursue. Finally, Mr. Granoff said that Albania’s leaders should think of the country as a company that competes in the market for foreign investments and for tourists in order to achieve success. At the end of the lecture, a Q&A was held and students were able to directly ask Mr. Granoff questions.
AADF Chairman Michael Granoff was honored with the title Dr. Honoris Causa from the University of Tirana for “his valuable contribution to the promotion and development of sustainable models and best practices in the fields of economy, culture and education in Albania”.
The ceremony was attended by former Presidents of the Republic of Albania; the Minister of Education, Ms. Lindita Nikolla; H.E. Donald Lu, US Ambassador to Albania; Mr. Lulzim Basha, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Albania; Mr. Gent Seiko, Governor of the Central Bank of Albania; University of Tirana representatives as well as friends of the AADF.
The rector of the University of Tirana, Prof. Dr. Mynyr Koni thanked guests and along with Prof. Dr. Dhori Kule, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Prof. Sulo Hadëri, acknowledged Mr. Granoff for his contributions to Albania in the last 20+ years.
Mr. Granoff was appointed by President Clinton to the Board of the Albanian-American Enterprise Fund, a US-sponsored private sector development initiative, where he currently serves as the Chairman of the Board.
Mr. Granoff has engaged and cooperated with Albanian educational institutions in order to implement projects that provide and guarantee quality standards in curricula and teaching, he has promoted enhancing entrepreneurial skills for students in the pre-university system, as well as assisted with improving the transparency of student assessment and enhancing the quality of education in public and private universities in Albania.
Mr. Granoff has shared his experience in business and leadership with students and young entrepreneurs by participating in forums for economics and academia.
On January 25-26, the Albanian-American Development Foundation (AADF) organized the Consultative Forum on Business and Tourism Development Areas (BID/TID).
Mr. Aleksander Sarapuli and Mr. Martin Mata, AADF Co-CEOs and Mr. Erion Veliaj, invited as Chairman of the Association for Local Autonomy, discussed the BID/TID concept as a model for urban areas management and the support provided to the businesses operating in these areas. AADF, as the initiator and catalyst of this model, has invested in the cities of Berat, Korça, Shkodra, Kruja, Tirana, Gjirokastra and Vlora, interventions that have improved services and investments in various commercial and urban areas. Forum participants were Administrators and Local Consultants of BID/TID associations working with AADF and the Municipalities of these cities. The activity focused on experience- sharing between BID/TID, for an improved work experience; Presentation of new administrators and consultants of BID/TID associations; Understanding relevant issues and support / training needs; and Orientation on 2018 Challenges. During the second day of the meeting particular focus was on the financial and procurement procedures of the associations, as well as measurement and reporting of the project indicators, presentations held by the AADF staff. The forum concluded with common agreement on the 2018 list of specific objectives to be followed by business associations, based on the key challenges. Future meetings will be planned periodically, in order to improve local capacities, also to measure and monitor the BID/TID associations performance, according to the objectives set together. BID/TID projects are financed and coordinated by AADF and respective municipalities.