The Bank of Albania (BoA)
Governor Gent Sejko attended on May 17-18 the Meeting of Advisory Group and
Annual Meeting of European Fund for South-Eastern Europe in Split, Croatia.
The motto of this year’s meeting highlighted
the areas receiving increased EFSE focus: Enabling Financial inclusion,
Startups and Entrepreneurship. These areas are a natural extension of the
fund’s focus on small businesses, job creation, and economic growth.
This year’s meeting provided a unique
forum for high-level discussions about the current challenges facing both the
financial industry and entrepreneurs. Guests at the meeting included numerous
central bank governors, leading banking and microfinance industry executives,
and top managers from national and international development organizations.
Topics at the meeting – presented by sector experts – ranged from how fintech
solutions can help micro and small enterprises (MSEs), to methods for
strengthening the startup environment.
Governor Sejko, speaking about the role
that Bank of Albania plays in the field of education and promotion of financial
know-how, said that his institution has been very active in organization of
educational activities and distribution of educational materials to different
To forge the links between the
institutions involved in the financial education of the public as a whole and
the youth in particular, the Bank of Albania has signed two Memorandums of
Understanding with the Ministry of Education and Sports and the Albanian
Association of Banks.
Governor Sejko assessed that the
promotion and coordination between the various actors involved in financial
education in Albania, to encourage mutual cooperation in launching financial
education initiatives remains a priority for the Bank of Albania.
The European Fund for Southeast Europe
(EFSE) was initiated by KfW Development Bank (KfW) with the financial support
of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
and the European Commission. It aims to foster economic development and
prosperity in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania,
Serbia, Ukraine and Turkey.
As access to finance is a key success factor in
developing the micro, small and medium enterprise segments, the EFSE focuses on
assisting local financial sectors in strengthening their ability to ensure
adequate and sustainable financing. The funding the EFSE provides as long-term
finance primarily for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) – but also for private
households in the form of home improvement loans – is channelled to these loan
customers through local partner lending institutions. Supporting the EFSE’s
investment activities is the EFSE Development Facility, which provides partner
lending institutions with technical assistance, consulting and training
services to build operational capacities and professional management.