For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, DC - On January 19th, the Board of Directors of the Albanian-American Enterprise Fund (AAEF) presented a ceremonial check for $15 million to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to be returned to the U.S. Treasury on behalf of the American people.
The original grant of $30 million was made by USAID to AAEF in 1995 to assist the economic transition process in Albania after the fall of the Soviet Union. The AAEF has promoted private sector development in Albania by investing in a wide array of private enterprises and providing management advice, training, and best practices to portfolio companies. The Fund has completed approximately 62 investment transactions with over 32 Albanian companies, contributing an estimated $725 million to the GDP and creating over 3,500 jobs.
In addition to achieving exceptional development impact in Albania, the Fund also achieved an extraordinary financial return, the remainder of which will be transferred to the Albanian American Development Foundation (AADF), a newly created legacy organization. As a major U.S. Government legacy institution, AADF will continue to promote private sector development by providing grants in areas such as education for sustainable development, entrepreneurship, leadership development, and cultural tourism in Albania.
At the ceremony to return the check, Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia Paige Alexander remarked: "The Albanian-American Enterprise Fund has had tremendous success in Albania's economic transition over the last twenty years. I commend AAEF Chairman Michael Granoff for his leadership and am deeply appreciative of AAEF's efforts, which have enabled the entrenchment of economic progress through the establishment of the AADF and resulted in the return of $15 million to the American people."
Over the last twenty years, the USAID Bureau for Europe and Eurasia has established ten Enterprise Funds covering 18 countries to sustain engagement beyond presence and strengthen development achievements. In all, the Funds have leveraged almost $9 billion - nearly nine times the initial U.S. investment. These innovative funds, like the AAEF, are able to achieve major development outcomes with a sustainable impact, while also giving American taxpayers a direct return on their investment.
For more information visit www.usaid.gov.
Last updated: October 10, 2013