6 most successful projects from Kosovo being proposed for finance in the second call of Regional Challenge Fund, allocating approximately 2.85 million Euros for the investments in equipment, infrastructure and training at the vocational training institutes implementing cooperative training.
April 4th, 2023, Prishtina – The Regional Challenge Fund (RCF) organised the Second National Grant Award Ceremony in Kosovo in order to share the results of the second call and to award the grants to winning consortia. The second round of applications attracted a total of 123 Expressions of Interest from Western Balkan 6. Out of this number 22 EoIs were received from Kosovo. The Selection Committee’s decision about the funds available for the second call resulted in 6 most successful projects from Kosovo being proposed for financing, allocating approximately 2.85 million Euros for the investments in equipment, infrastructure and training at the vocational training institutes implementing cooperative training.
This number marked one of the highest selection rate per one country. The Award Ceremony gathered the officials from the WB6 CIF, German Embassy, KfW, SDC, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Regional Challenge Fund and the awarded consortia from Kosovo, to mark the success.
Mr. Lulzim Rafuna, President, Kosovo Chamber of Commerce and WB6 CIF, stated that the second call of RCF results in increasing number of Expressions of Interest and that the financing facility has a positive influence on the VET Sector to use it in order to improve the conditions of VET education, which is crucial for the creation of new jobs and for the economic development of the country. He concluded that from February, WB6 CIF is being led by Kosovo Chamber of Commerce and I am happy to announce that one of our key objectives is to setup the Regional Training Center in Kosovo. The center will contribute to the development of the labor force in the region, which would strengthen the mobility and the cooperation between businesses and will boost the foreign investments throughout the region.
Ms. Arberie Nagavci, Minister of Education, Science and Technology, stated that she is very grateful and thankful for the initiative taken by the German Government and KfW to support VET edcuation. She emphasized that this initiative has also enabled us to work together and we believe that it will serve as a powerful catalyst of cooperation between educational institutions and professional skills and enterprises in such a way that all students who graduate from our professional schools are equipped with the skills required by the labor market. She congratulated the consortia and all partners and collaborators in the VET sector and iterated the common goal to offer the best for our professional schools to meet the needs of enterprises and above all the most important to contribute together to the economic development of the country.
Ms. Vera Baumann, Head of Cooperation in the Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany, stated that from 20 years now the German cooperation supports Kosovo in financial projects and economic development projects. “What we really see is that in the last years, especially since we had the pandemic under control, Kosovo is really taking off. What we are doing now with the financial support to the VET sector is to provide incentives for the young people to upscale their skills and to make better lives and a better future in their own country”. She further added that we have to ensure that Kosovo remains attractive for its own people and I am happy for the results achieved in Kosovo in the second call and I wish further success to the winning consortia with the implementation.
Mr. Balsa Culafic, Program Coordinator, WB6 CIF, underlined that CIF as implementation partner will support the realization of the selected joint projects between VTIs and enterprises and expressed his expectation that these will be followed by additional projects to be selected in future calls. expressed his gratitude for the second national grant award ceremony in Kosovo. He stated that CIF represents 350,000 companies, mostly small and medium sized enterprises, opening up new opportunities for stronger networking business community in the region and CIF is to give their support for the implementation of these projects, hopefully to be followed by new selected projects in the future.
Ms. Viktoria Veidt, Senior Portfolio Manager, KfW Headquarters congratulated the 6 winning consortia from Kosovo that have won in the second call of the Regional Challenge Fund, underlining the importance of the quality of skills acquisition and qualifications for young people that contributes best to be fit for the jobs. She further added that compared to the size of the economy and population this is again a remarkable result for Kosovo. It shows not only the great need for financing but also the large interest of companies and VET providers alike to work together and to push vocational education forward. She concluded by saying that “ As a recognition of the high quality of the Kosovar RCF financing proposals that couldn’t be financed with the current funding volume, an additional 6 Mio. Euros have been committed by the German Government to a dedicated Kosovar Financing Window of the Regional Challenge Fund”.
Photos from the event see on RCF social media: Facebook or LinkedIn.
The Regional Challenge Fund (RCF) is a financing facility designed to increase youth employability and boost the competitiveness of enterprises in Western Balkan 6 by funding investments in selected cooperative training projects that are implemented through partnerships between vocational training institutes and enterprises. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development commissioned 64.43 million EUR for the RCF, and the Swiss Government, represented by the SDC Swiss Development Cooperation, co-financed an additional 9.7 million CHF. The funds were commissioned to the KfW Development Bank and executed by the Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum (WB6-CIF), a joint initiative of chambers of commerce from the region. The grants are allocated through a competitive regional challenge. For any further inquiries, feel free to contact the RCF representative, Renato Vasili, at firstname.lastname@example.org