Since 1992, USAID has invested more than $500 million in Albania to support political pluralism; civil society; effective local governments; independent media; the rule of law; the energy and health sectors; free-market economic systems; and sustainable economic growth, including through the development of tourism, and micro-enterprise partnerships. This assistance over the past 28 years has led to significant political and economic reforms in Albania. Today, Albania is advanced in its journey to self-reliance for a middle-income country, having demonstrated its commitment and capacity to plan, finance, and implement solutions to its own development challenges. These achievements show Albania is well-positioned to take on more ownership of its development challenges.
USAID is proud to have reached this turning point together with Albania, and is now strategically transitioning its relationship with Albania, moving from the traditional donor-beneficiary relationship to one increasingly defined by partnership. As part of its strategic transition, USAID has been gradually shifting from supporting a multi-sector portfolio to a more focused approach that addresses some of Albania’s central development challenges by strengthening the rule of law, promoting economic growth, and supporting the energy sector.
While all current bilateral programs will conclude by March 2021, USAID will continue to address a significant developmental challenge – countering corruption – that is critical for the country’s success in improving transparency and governance on its path of EU integration. To advance this objective, in August 2020 USAID launched a new multi-million dollar project: The U.S.-Albania Transparency Academy (aka the Transparency Academy). The Transparency Academy will seek to change a pervasive culture of corruption that undermines economic growth and citizen confidence, and conflicts dramatically with EU standards of transparency, accountability, and decentralization of authorities. The Transparency Academy will be a recognized center of excellence and innovation where experts on anti-corruption convene, prominent public events attract senior government, business, and political stakeholders, and civil society and grassroots activists participate in dialogue and advocacy efforts.