Tapping into the Albanian Scientific Diaspora


Tirana – Over 1.4 million Albanians currently live outside the country, representing a huge and largely untapped opportunity for economic and social development.  

IOM Albania runs a programme focused on engaging the Diaspora, and this week focused on the potential of plugging into the large number of Albanian scientists dotted around the globe. The Organization contributed to the 14th Annual Meeting of the Alb-Science Institute held in Tirana, on 27-28 September, under the theme Research in Our Homeland, organized by the Minister for Diaspora and Albanian National Fund of Diaspora.  

“This event brings together hundreds of representatives of the most active and well-known scientific Albanian Diaspora worldwide to present the latest achievements of their studies,” stated Manoela Lussi, Manager of the IOM Diaspora Programme in her address to the forum. “It is a great opportunity to create an environment that encourages and supports diaspora engagement by sharing good practices, experiences and talents to develop their home country.” 

The event was divided into different thematic panels focused on education, historiography, medicine, justice, language, culture and economy. 

IOM highlighted during the event the importance of engagement of high skilled and talented Albanian diaspora individuals, by presenting its Fellowship scheme where six young researchers are working on a cultural heritage scheme.  

“This research is inspired by the relational principle, where each cultural site should not be seen as an isolated one, but on the contrary, as a reality in strong and constant relationship with its surrounding landscape and territory. This reflects our relationship with our home country,” said Kamela Guza, one of the fellows involved in the IOM Diaspora Programme, during her presentation.  

Endri Xhaferaj, Programme Officer at the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), added: “This programme is supporting the best of Albanian talents for the best of Albania and contributing to enhance the engagement of Albanian diaspora for the development of the country.” 

The programme Engage the Albanian Diaspora to the Social and Economic Development of Albania is implemented by IOM, with funding from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), in coordination with the State Minister for Diaspora, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Finance and Economy.  

For more information please contact Bharda Qokaj at IOM Albania, Tel: + 355 686077519, Email:bqokaj@iom.int 

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  • IOM’s booth at the science diaspora event in Tirana. Photo: IOM 

  • IOM project partner Kamela Guzi speaking at the science forum in Tirana, this week. Photo: IOM w