Diaspora Engagement Programme

Engage the Albanian Diaspora to the Social and Economic Development of Albania

The diaspora entails great potential for Albania’s development and the challenge for the stakeholders is to create an environment that encourages and supports diaspora engagement to the development of the home country. Nearly 1.7 million Albanians live outside the country, mostly in Europe, but also with significant presence in North America (USA and Canada) as well as other regions. The objective of this programme is to contribute to enhancing the engagement of Albanian diaspora to the development of Albania.

In pursuit of this objective, the programme implements three components:

First component

The first component focuses in supporting the Government of Albania to implement a comprehensive approach towards diaspora engagement for sustainable development in line with the overall policy framework. Various activities, such as capacity building and physical infrastructure support to institutions created by State Minister for Diaspora, as well as equipment and technical assistance to partner institutions; Study visits; training, such as ToT on Fundraising and Project Cycle Management; and the engagement of international and local experts on diaspora policy are some concrete examples of the support the Diaspora Programme offers to the GoA.

Second component

The second component focuses at facilitating the engagement of the Albanian diaspora in the development of the country of origin through know-how and skills transfer. The activity “Mapping and Profiling of Albanian Diaspora – An economic and social survey in 5 Italian regions and overview picture in France and Belgium” developed as part of this component, is a tool to be used as a basis for orienting policy development and implementation, contributing to the creation of a repository of Albanian diaspora skills and knowledge. This component also provides Fellowship opportunities in Albania Government institutions for Albanian diaspora members (including Arberësh) in Italy, France and Belgium; Fellowships in Italy, to the Albanian Embassy in Rome, General Consulates in Bari and Milan, for the Albanian Diaspora members in Italy (including Arberësh); Fellowships for the Albanian diaspora members in Italy (including Arberësh), to support territorial development in Albania through the Department of Architecture of the University of Florence, Italy; Fellowships to Governmental partners, especially for Albanian diaspora members in Europe, who will offer support to the Albanian Negotiation process.

Third component

The third component facilitates the engagement of diaspora into country development through investment. This is achieved by Connect Albania, an innovative investment-boosting online Mechanism. Connect Albania facilitates the engagement of the Albanian Diaspora who lives in Italy into their home country development as development agents to attract and boost the potential investment among Albanian and Italian community through the mechanism. A Connect Albania Unit is established under the Albanian Diaspora Business Chamber (ADBC) to support the mechanism and the ‘Development Agents”, and through them, the investors.

The Diaspora Programme is implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Mission in Albania – the UN Migration Agency, with funding from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and operational involvement of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) in Albania, in close coordination with the Albanian State Minister for Diaspora, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Economy.

For more information, contact infotirana@iom.int.