Total Funding: $20 million*
Start Date: August 2013
End Date: August 2018
Implementing Partner: Deloitte Consulting LLP
*USAID $10 million, Sida $10 million
Lack of jobs is the leading concern of working-age citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). BiH lags behind its neighbors in political and economic progress, compelling foreign investors to do business in neighboring countries with better EU prospects and a more competitive investment climate. As a result, the level of Foreign Direct Investment per capita in BiH is among the lowest in the region. BiH needs to unlock its potential sources of economic growth, increase productivity of private enterprises, and substantially improve the business environment to attract investment. This means improving economic governance, institutions, systems and processes to increase private sector competitiveness. Unemployment rates in BiH range from 24% to 44% and are especially high for youth. At the local level, economic growth has been undermined by a number of factors, including the lack of innovative, business-led strategies for creating jobs and attracting investment. Even after developing a strategy for economic development, few municipalities have been able to draw significant investment and the subsequent jobs that come with it.
USAID’s Growth-Oriented Local Development (GOLD) project is jointly-financed by USAID and the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (Sida). To assist local communities in achieving their economic growth and development goals, the GOLD project:
• Promotes integrated and inclusive local economic development (LED) planning and implementation – across municipalities, cantons, and entities – in the sectors with the highest potential for rapid, sustainable job growth;
• Helps unlock the economic potential of municipal assets and promote new investments that support the targeted sectors through public-private partnerships;
• Engages stakeholders to improve public service delivery and the business enabling environment reforms;
• Promotes new direct investment and supports competitive supply chains that will create new jobs. To create jobs for youth, the project supports entrepreneurship and works with the private and public sectors to implement vocational education programs that will train youth in skills suitable to the local economy.
Implementation and Planned Results
Working with municipal partners, GOLD engages citizens and leaders in the public and private sectors, academia, NGOs, and the donor community in a business-led effort to generate transformational economic growth by attracting investment and creating jobs, and creating sustainable LED platforms that will enable localities to maintain the momentum in economic growth far into the future. GOLD’s work with its partner communities will create an LED model that can be replicated throughout the country, laying the groundwork for sustained economic growth.
The project will initially partner with the six municipalities -- Banja Luka, Bihać, Bijeljina, Sarajevo Centar, Ljubuškoi, and Tuzla -- featured in the video links below, and will work to boost investment and create jobs in more than 45 BiH municipalities over the next five years.
Banja Luka: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PsZdWftr5o
Drazena Peranic, USAID/BiH Development Outreach and Communications Specialist
Last updated: February 13, 2014