FACT SHEET: Support for Albanian Youth

A young woman speaks in front of a yellow poster board
USAID is supporting the creation of the Bulqiza Youth Board to encourage leadership and participation in decisions impacting their community.
Erald Lamja, USAID Planning and Local Governance Project

Youth account for 23% of Albania’s population under the age of 15 and 21% between 10-24 years. A Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation 2014 survey of 1,200 youth1, ages 16-27, 80% of Albanian youth surveyed want to emigrate driven in large part, by youth concern about high unemployment (estimated at 29.2%) and poverty, and in pursuit of a better education abroad. Despite being formally declared a “safe country” Albania has the highest number of migrants applying for asylum in Europe, and second after Syrians in the Netherlands. 

USAID places a strong emphasis on integrating youth considerations as a cross­cutting factor in all our programming. USAID uses the term youth and young people interchangeably and while youth development programs often focus on youth in the 15 to 24 year age range, USAID programs also are likely to engage individuals aged10-­29 as a broader youth cohort. In Albania, USAID projects seek to improve the capacities and enable the aspirations of youth so that they can contribute to and benefit from more stable, democratic, and prosperous communities. Our programs allow Albanian youth to be better able to access economic and social opportunities, fully participate in democratic and development processes, play active roles in civil society, and have a stronger voice in, and are better served by local and national institutions. 

CURRENT PROJECTS

Planning and Local Governance Project: January 2012-September 2019
Accelerated Civic Development And Cooperation:  January 2017-July 2020
Promoting Transparency in Party Financing: October 2016- September 2018
People First: September 2016- September 2018
Growing Social Businesses in Albania: January 2016 – January 2019
Diber: Trails and Traditions: March 2017 – March 2020
 

PROGRAM AREAS

INCREASE ROLE OF YOUTH IN DEMOCRACTIC PROCESSES AND CIVIL SOCIETY

Youth civic and political education and participation supports stabilization and democracy. USAID’s planning and local governance program aims to strengthen the involvement of local civil society groups, businesses, and citizens in local government processes through the participation in local government outreach mechanisms, such as Citizen Advisory Panels (CAPs). Currently there are 13 CAPs in Berat, Durres, Elbasan, Fier, Kamza, Korça, Kuçova, Lushnja, Patos, Saranda, Vore, Vlora, and Tirana, with each having youth members who are involved in discussion on municipal budgets, planning, and community activities.

Through USAID’s civil society strengthening project, we are working with active youth to reduce corruption, improve government services, and expand civic education. Efforts to engage youth involve elevating their voices and ensuring meaningful opportunities to contribute to resolving issues and promoting positive change. USAID will provide youth organizations or youth-related organizations management training and small grants.

PROVIDE GREATER ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL OPPORTUNITIES

With high poverty and unemployment rates, and the difficulty of the Government to be able to foster inclusive growth, Albania’s young generation continues to seek opportunities abroad.  Through partnerships with Yunus Social Business Balkans and The Headhunter, USAID is providing training and mentorship opportunities to Albanian youth. Yunus Social Business Balkans reaches young Albanian aspiring entrepreneurs, educating them on basic business principles and providing them with technical assistance and business development services that help to turn initial business plans into operational businesses, as well as continuing coaching and mentoring.

Youth often lack the links to build networks and contacts, and their education and training is not matched to Albania’s growth sectors. The HeadHunter, Albania’s largest human resource company, together with Junior Achievement Albania, seek to outreach and motivate youth, including young women and minorities, to gain employment in Albania’s burgeoning tourism sector. The project is creating partnerships between prospective employees, Vocational Training Centers (VTCs), and businesses, to gain the necessary skills related to the tourism and hospitality industry and enter the workforce.

To support integration of youth in rural areas, the Diber: Trails and Traditions project will train youth and provide employment opportunities in agro and adventure tourism.

Last updated: July 26, 2018

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