U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green visited the Republic of Kosovo from November 11-12, 2019. On November 11, the Administrator began his trip by visiting USAID beneficiary Solid Shoe Company, a family-owned business established in 1992 that is currently the largest manufacturer of footwear in Kosovo and one of the largest such companies in the region. He ended the tour with an engaging conversation with women entrepreneurs and discussed key constraints they face in the business environment in Kosovo, as well as ways to encourage and mentor the next generation of women business-owners. The Administrator also met with community influencers from different cities and sectors whose vision and tenacity are transformative and contributing to a self-reliant Kosovo.
On November 12, he met with leaders from several political parties. The Administrator encouraged them to resume talks urgently to realize a comprehensive normalization agreement with Serbia, in tandem with their anti-corruption and economic-development agendas for Kosovo, which are mutually reinforcing goals.
As an ex officio member of the Board of Director of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Administrator Green delivered remarks at the launch of a new activity funded by the MCC, Subsidies for Energy Efficiency in Kosovo, which will provide incentives for residential consumers to invest in efficiency retrofits that reduce household consumption of energy. In addition, the Administrator met with Mayor Shpend Ahmeti of Pristina and toured the municipality’s Procurement Office. He congratulated the City of Pristina for its ranking by Transparency International as one of the five most-transparent capital cities in Europe, and for serving as an example for other government offices to fight corruption seriously and consistently.
Administrator Green also met with Kosovo-Serb civil-society and youth leaders in Gracanica and discussed how they can engage with Kosovar political and government institutions to ensure they respond to the interests of all citizens.
Finally, the Administrator met with more than 100 young people during the launch of Kosovo’s webpage on USAID’s YouthLead online platform. YouthLead Kosovo will promote partnerships and projects for interaction and collaboration among young leaders.