The below is attributable to Spokesperson Jessica Jennings:
Today, Administrator Samantha Power concluded her trip to Serbia. In the morning, she met with youth representatives from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo at the Kalemegdan fortress and discussed their efforts to forge connections across geographic and ethnic divides. The Administrator thanked the participants for the difficult but highly impactful work they are undertaking to address common challenges and building a positive, prosperous future for new generations living in the Western Balkans.
Administrator Power then traveled to the city of Niš, where she first visited the Science and Technology Park Niš, a regional center for accelerating the development of companies fueling Serbia’s fast-growing tech and innovation sector.
The Administrator then traveled to visit the City of Niš Heating Plant where, with USAID support, the city is improving energy efficiency through the use of new and affordable technologies. During a tour of the plant, Administrator Power observed USAID’s investment in a digitized control center that helps heating plants significantly improve energy efficiency, as well as technologies like sensors on heating pipes to stop leakage and reduce waste.
While in Niš, the Administrator met with civil society leaders to discuss the challenges they face in advocating for their communities, accountability of government institutions, and democratic reform. Administrator Power underscored the important role of Serbian civil society, and affirmed that USAID will continue to support the growth of a healthy civil society ecosystem in Serbia as an essential foundation for development and democracy.
Before departing for Kosovo, the Administrator enjoyed uštipci at a popular local Niš restaurant, Mrak. From Niš, Administrator Power traveled to the Bujanovac-Konculj Border Crossing en route to Kosovo.