Supporting and strengthening the regional development of northern Albania

On 27 May 2014 a mission of the Austrian Development Agency made a working visit to the region of the mission were Dr. Shkodrës.

Supporting and strengthening the regional development of northern Albania
On 27 May 2014 a mission of the Austrian Development Agency made a working visit to the region of the mission were Dr. Shkodrës.Pjesë Ledolter Martin, CEO of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the operational part of the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) and Mrs.. Astrid Wein, Director of the ADC office in Tirana,
The mission visited Shkodra today to see the work being done in Shkodra district thanks to the support that Austria is providing Albania in strengthening regional development.
For more than 20 years, the Austrian Development Cooperation has helped Albania to improve the water supply especially in Shkodra district, reaching more than 15 million grants for investment in infrastructure and strengthening the capacity of water services. ADC in the region of Shkodra Shkodra continues to support UK- helping to improve services and increase efficiency and performance. Also, Austria is supporting the merger of two major public services – North Highland village and Great – and is supporting the country with soft loans to finance infrastructure related to water efficiency services. As a result, Director Ledolter underlined:
About 100,000 people have drinking water in Shkodra
Residents of Bushat Barbullushi Ana Mountain, Rranxa, and Koplik Kastrat have drinking water, water coming from the pipes for the first time.
However, while improving the performance of their services with the support of donors for better infrastructure and effective management, concerned citizens and government should pay water services. Mr. Ledolter said that in this way these services will become financially stable. In turn, this would lead to improved services and reduced costs for citizens.
The second part of the visit was that the Regional Development Programme in Northern Albania is another initiative funded by the Austrian Government and the Swiss, where the main partner and beneficiary institutions are the regions of Shkodra and Lezha. The main aim of the initiative is to support and strengthen regional institutions in their duties to promote integrated regional development and to give citizens equal access to quality public services, as well as economic opportunities, especially in disadvantaged areas.
Strengthening the capacity of local government and regional councils is another very important aspect of regional development. “Coordination is very important because many problems can not be solved within the limits of a single municipality,” said Director Ledolter. “And what is even more important, the decisions taken by a municipality may adversely affect other municipalities. Therefore, strategic planning coordinated regional development is very important. Austria supports strengthening the capacity of regional and local structures in the formulation of strategic projects, fundraising, procurement, contract management and management capacity of the project cycle to ensure the impact on the regional level. Also, in counties that provided technical assistance to the Regional Development Programme have improved the capabilities of strategic planning and budgeting. During the work program director Mr. Olaf Haub made a presentation on the progress of the program so far, in all dimensions of its interventions. Then continued with the presentation of the work, the staff of two administrations of Shkodra and Lezha County have made the process of reviewing and monitoring the strategic documents and setting priorities according to priority areas with the possibility of intervention projects and inter-sectoral . This presentation was made by Ms. KAZAZI and Mrs. Merita. Linda Maci, Director of the Coordination and Development departments, respectively Shkodra and Lezha circuits.
During their visit, the director Ledolter ADA and Office Chief Wein visited several projects affecting the circuit program funded by the Austrian / Swiss regional development (RDP):
• Mjeda’s war Ndre house to see the restoration work
• bicycle path and bicycle station at Dajç, as well
• ethnographic Center in Black Stone, as part of the cultural heritage of the area Zadrima
These products enhance the ability of tourism that this area in particular and the country in general and are part of the concept of sub-regional development zones, which aims to make Albania more attractive not only for domestic tourists, but also for foreign tourists .