In the honor of his continued contribution to the city of Tirana, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Michael D. Granoff, was honored with an appreciation gift by the Mayor of Tirana, Mr. Erion Veliaj, and Tirana City Council. AADF has several transformative projects for Tirana, as part of its project portfolio, such as: the New Bazaar of Tirana, the revitalization of the Pyramid of Tirana, and many more projects in education and technology.
The first day of school marks the launch of the ElementIT project by AADF in collaboration with the Ministry of State for Children and Youth, the Ministry of Education and Sports, and the National Information Society Agency.
First-graders in 100 Albanian schools will begin studying coding as a subject as part of their curriculum this coming academic year. The idea involves establishing contemporary laboratories in these 100 schools and incorporating coding into the first-grade curriculum.
The ICT laboratory at the Jeronim De Rada School in Tirana was inaugurated today in the presence of Prime Minister Mr. Edi Rama, Minister Mrs. Bora Muzhaqi, Minister Mrs. Evis Kushi, the Mayor of Tirana, Mr. Erion Veliaj and the Co-CEOs of AADF, Mr. Aleksandër Sarapuli and Mr. Martin Mata.
In continuation of this initiative undertaken by AADF with the ElementIT project, trainings are being developed to increase the capacities of the teachers of these schools and support an active community of ICT teachers.
We added one more aspiring initiative in 2021: to become the first certified carbon-neutral organization in Albania. Now more than ever the urgency and the possibility to take action are big.
Carbon neutrality means that the carbon footprint of a company has been calculated on the basis of internationally recognized standards and fully offset by supporting certified carbon offset projects.
Our first inventory report indicated total emissions of 125 tons of CO2. These emissions were offset by supporting a worldwide project of Clean Oceans and Plastic Bank, which aims to reduce pollution and carbon emissions. We cannot stop there as AADF is setting goals for emission reductions for our project portfolio in the coming years.
Getting a carbon neutral certification is the first step to aiming for a greener and even brighter future.
TUMO Tirana hosted Junior Achievement of Albania’s “Financial Boot Camp” in attendance of the Chairman of the Board of the AADF, Mr. Michael D. Granoff, Deputy Minister of Education and Sports, Ms. Nina Guga, and AADF Co-CEOs, Mr. Aleksandër Sarapuli, and Mr. Martin Mata.
Students were presented with a business challenge, worked in groups, brainstormed and pitched on a given business challenge, assisted by JAA Alumni mentors. “Finance Boot Camps” are a new approach to educating students on how to make money, save, invest, learn how to use credit and how to manage personal finances.
The winning team was awarded scholarships to attend the Tumo Tirana and further solidify their technology skills. We are excited to see them evolve in their journey and hear about their innovative ideas in the future.
The next generation of innovators needs the right skills and resources to understand what Artificial Intelligence is, how it is designed, and why it is important in today’s digital world. We have identified a strategic opportunity to partner with Intel® and offer an innovative program that will empower Albanian students with AI tech and social skills. AI for Youth is currently being implemented in more than 20 countries worldwide, with participants gaining and applying AI skills to solve real-world problems.
AADF in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Sports signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the AI for Youth project, a 2.5-year program that will be piloted in 5 public schools and 2 training centers. We will build 7️ AI labs providing the certified teachers and students the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of AI and demystify it by equipping them with the mindset and skills required for AI readiness.
The AADF Chairman of the Board Mr. Michael D. Granoff and the Minister of Education and Sports, Ms. Evis Kushi emphasized that this program will provide the Albanian youth an opportunity to learn AI skills and apply them responsibly from a program developed by Intel® – the company that creates world-changing technology and innovation.
The project for the Albanian Jewish Museum was presented by the Israeli Kimmel Eshkolot Architects studio at the National Opera Theater.
Honorable guests of the event were Mr. Michael D. Granoff, Chairman of the Board of AADF, Prime Minister Mr. Edi Rama, Minister of Culture Mrs. Elva Margariti, Her Excellence Mrs. Yuri Kim, US Ambassador to Albania, Mr. Noah Gal Gendler, Ambassador of the State of Israel to Albania, Mr. Christian Steiner, Ambassador of Austria to Albania, representatives from the Embassy of Great Britain and Germany and other guests.
The project for the new museum “embraces” the character of the historic center, although it preserves the past, it interprets in a contemporary way the unique history of coexistence between Albanians and the Jewish community.
“AADF believes that this project is a valuable contribution we are making to future generations,” said Michael D. Granoff, Chairman of the AADF Board.
Digital transformation is crucial for Albania’s path to economic development and AADF has a catalytic role in Albania’s social transformation and economic growth.
Most of AADF’s projects and investments are in Education & Technology, $45.4 Mil. or 50.5% off AADF funds of which 43% include ICT. AADF believes that ICT investments will ensure current & future workforce and will be competitive in a global market. TUMO Tirana, Coding Academy by ProTIK, AI for Youth, and ElementIT are contributing directly to digitalization and technology investments to drive the future development of our country.
AADF in collaboration with the Government of Albania signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the ElementIT project, a 5 years project that will mainly include the set-up of 100 ICT Smart Labs with 1600 computer devices, ICT curricula for 1st -3rd grade, the coding platform as a central learning tool for students as well as, training all ICT teachers involved in the project.
The AADF Chairman of the Board Mr. Michael D. Granoff and the Prime Minister of Albania Mr. Edi Rama emphasized that expanding access to ICT skills from a young age to a wider range of Albanian professionals in a variety of geographic locations will contribute to speeding up the digital transformation in Albania.
Albania is one of the leading countries in the World in terms of international migration, with more than 1.4 million Albanians living abroad and more than 2,500 Ph.D. holders of Albanian origin. This striking fact was presented during the launching event of READ Program. To engage this intellectual potential in the country of origin, the Albanian-American Development Foundation, in coordination with the Institute of International Education, has established the Research Expertise from the Academic Diaspora Fellowship Program (READ). READ Fellowship Program is a 7️-year project that will connect Higher Education Institutions in Albania with the Albanian scientific diaspora and their respective academic institutions.
READ Program will award up to 1️00 fellowship grants to members of the Albanian academic diaspora and up to 1️00 research grants to Albanian resident scholars, aiming to raise institutional capacities and the quality of scientific research.
The first Advisory Council Board was also introduced during the event, constituting of 5 members whose launched the first call starting from January 2022.
The ceremony culminated with the AADF Co-CEOs signing a collaborative agreement with University of Tirana and University of Medicine, to ensure a stronger academic support to the project.
The event and READ program in its entirety were attended and warmly congratulated by
representatives of Higher Education Institutions all over the country, Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, civil society organizations and academics from scientific Diaspora and Albania.
The renewal of the Pyramid of Tirana is one of the most daring projects in the AADF’s almost three decades of development projects and commitment in Albania.
On November 16th, the Pyramid construction site was visited by our Chairman of the Board, Mr. Michael D. Granoff, Co-CEO’s Mr. Martin Mata and Mr. Aleksandër Sarapuli. In the presence of the Prime Minister of Albania Mr. Edi Rama, the Mayor of Tirana Mr. Erion Veliaj presented the progress of works done so far, the architectural and technical details of the project, its landscape and the project’s timeline.
Considered by the Prime Minister as a highly strategical project about youth, the economy, technological development, to transform this building into the largest regional center of innovation and digital technology. We look forward to the completion of this project by 2022.