Kosovo is a lower-middle-income country which has experienced solid economic growth over the last decade. Kosovo is one of only four countries in Europe to experience growth in every year since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008.
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Prishtina, Kosovo, June 25, 2015—The World Bank is helping to strengthen cyber security in Kosovo by piloting a capacity building assessment aimed at identifying cyber security gaps. Its experts have ... Show More +collaborated closely with Government and the responsible institutions to review policy-making, legal and regulatory frameworks, policies and practices related to cybersecurity outreach, education and trainings, as well as the adoption of international cybersecurity standards and technologies.With the dynamic growth of digital data and the use of broadband-enabled devices, cyber risks are exponentially increasing for networks managed by the Government of Kosovo, operators of critical national infrastructure (especially public utilities), companies inside and beyond the telecommunication and financial sectors, as well as households. For example, insecure networks may enable leaks of sensitive information or cause malfunctions in systems responsible for public service provision (such as water supply, energy, or transport).In cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development, the World Bank facilitated a workshop entitled Cyber Security in Kosovo: Dialogue on Strategic Priorities. Participants from Government, the private sector, and civil society discussed the findings of the Cyber Security Capacity Maturity Model Assessment carried out by The Global Cyber Security Capacity Center at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. The cyber security experts focused on the current situation in Kosovo, including relevant policy initiatives by the public sector, as well as public and private sector cyber security education and training possibilities, and private sector experience with addressing cyber security risks.“The increased reliance on the Internet as a source of information and an instrument of management creates immense opportunities but also entails new risks,” said Jan-Peter Olters, World Bank Country Manager for Kosovo. “With the continued and deepened focus on matters of cyber security—, households, firms, and governments can take full advantage of accessing information, strengthening management and oversight, growing commerce, and improving communication, while being protected, to the extent possible, from cybercrime and cyber security leaks.”The World Bank and The Global Cyber Security Capacity Center at the University of Oxford have been cooperating on cyber security knowledge exchange and capacity building. In February 2015, a group of researchers from the University of Oxford conducted a field trip to Prishtina to interview a number of government and nongovernment stakeholders in order to produce the Cyber Security Capacity Maturity Model assessment report and recommendations."This has been the first assessment of cybersecurity capacity in the Western Balkans using our new research," said Professor Sadie Creese, Director of the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre at the University of Oxford. "We are delighted to have been able to work closely with the Government of Kosovo to use our new model to help shape a more comprehensive approach to cybersecurity. It has also been vital in developing our cooperation with the World Bank, with a shared aim of increasing the effectiveness of cybersecurity across the world".Agim Kukaj, Head of Post, Telecommunications, Information and Communication Technology Department of the Ministry of Economic Development of Kosovo and lead government counterpart for the assessment and workshop said: "The assessment showed a realistic view of cyber security capacity strengths and weaknesses of different categories of Kosovo stakeholders, and in the process generated a considerable amount of interest, especially on the level of interagency cooperation in the public sector. It would thus be a lost opportunity for the Government not to build on this assessment further by bridging various interests and leveraging synergies ".The World Bank supports Kosovo’s cybersecurity agenda as part of its larger telecommunications work program managed by the Transport and ICT Global Practice. The work program started in June 2014 with a grant from the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) for infrastructure sharing consulting support to the Ministry of Economic Development of Kosovo and electricity utility KOSTT J.S.C. The Korea Green Growth Trust Fund provided additional funding for the expansion of broadband Internet connectivity to currently underserved municipalities, which is expected to create a platform for greener growth. Show Less -
Guarantees will Support Lending to Real EconomyWashington, DC, June 25, 2015—The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm of the World B... Show More +ank Group, announced that it is providing guarantees to support ongoing lending to the real economy by Raffeisen Bank International’s (RBI) subsidiaries in Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Serbia.MIGA is providing guarantees of €457 million to RBI, the second largest financial group doing business in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. MIGA’s coverage will reduce the risk profile of RBI’s operations in these countries, enabling the bank to maintain local lending, stimulating economic growth, employment creation, and poverty reduction.Through MIGA’s involvement, the subsidiary banks will be required to develop and implement environmental and social management systems commensurate with the risks in their portfolio. This additional capacity is expected to help improve the overall sustainability of the subsidiaries’ corporate clients and investment projects.“MIGA’s guarantees are an important tool in managing our risk profile as we seek to concentrate on the promising markets where we can play a sustainable role in providing access to finance. We are quite proud to be the first Austrian banking group to implement this product,” says Karl Sevelda, CEO of Raiffeisen Bank International AG.“We remain committed to supporting the economies that were disrupted by the global financial crisis,” says Keiko Honda, MIGA CEO and Executive Vice President. “In particular, our support to the financial sector in these countries can help deepen credit markets, which benefit both businesses and consumers.”MIGA’s support to RBI builds on the crucial role the agency played in supporting the “Joint IFI Action Plan” implemented by the World Bank Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the European Investment Bank in response to the global financial crisis. MIGA delivered $1.9 billion of signed guarantees under the initiative to support the economies of Eastern Europe.---MIGA was created in 1988 as a member of the World Bank Group to promote foreign direct investment into emerging economies to support economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve people’s lives. MIGA fulfills this mandate by offering political risk insurance and credit enhancement to investors and lenders. Show Less -
Prishtina, Kosovo, June 23, 2015—The World Bank is helping Kosovo to improve its existing rural broadband Internet coverage by providing analytical support on how to (i) design a national broadband pr... Show More +ogram to address connectivity gaps; and (ii) best organize effective infrastructure sharing across the telecommunications and energy sectors.Broadband development is uneven in Kosovo, with significant gaps between rural and urban regions. At the same time, even rural municipalities are faced with consistent population growth, leading to an increased demand for broadband and information and communication technologies (ICT).In cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development of Kosovo, the World Bank is organizing a two-day workshop, entitled Development of Rural Broadband for Inclusive and Green Growth, to present the results of two grant-financed technical assistance activities that aim at extending broadband connectivity to rural municipalities and accelerating the country’s development and greener growth.The workshop convened government, telecommunications and energy regulators, internet service providers, public utilities, and international donors for discussions on (i) the state of rural broadband connectivity, broadband infrastructure investment bottlenecks, and the public sector’s role in promoting investments to expand broadband access; and (ii) the Broadband Infrastructure Atlas, the infrastructure sharing plans by the Electricity Transmission System and Market Operator of Republic of Kosovo (KOSTT) J.S.C., and the benefits of rural broadband infrastructure development.Blerand Stavileci, Minister of Economic Development, stressed that the "Ministry and the Government of Kosovo have been very pleased with the progress achieved on the ICT cooperation with the World Bank. Through the technical assistance granted, we gained new knowledge and insights regarding the steps our government should take to increase the reach of telecommunication services and improve infrastructure service delivery, thus creating multiple positive externalities such as indirect job creation and environmental protection. We look forward to deepening this engagement to be able to act on the recommendations provided in a systematic and strategic way."“Modern technologies can be powerful instruments in addressing Kosovo’s overarching challenges of unemployment and economic inactivity, which are particularly pronounced for the tech-savvy youth and women, who are—more often than men—constrained in their mobility by family responsibilities of child or elder care,” said Jan-Peter Olters, World Bank Country Manager in Kosovo. “Therefore, the expansion of internet in rural areas of Kosovo will bring tangible benefits for households, businesses, and the Government, as it connects people to information and jobs and creates new economic opportunities.” The World Bank supports the Government of Kosovo’s plans to roll out rural broadband development — including through infrastructure sharing mechanisms — as part of its ICT work program managed by the Transport and ICT Global Practice. The work program started in June 2014, thanks to a grant from the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), which provides support to the Ministry of Economic Development of Kosovo and the public company KOSTT J.S.C..“Infrastructure sharing enables countries to use their infrastructure assets more efficiently by reducing infrastructure investments (civil works) required to expand broadband networks and provides new revenue sources for utilities,” said François Bergere, PPIAF Program Manager. “For these reasons, PPIAF was delighted to support this activity and hopes that this work will help facilitate private investment in Kosovo’s broadband network.”The Korea Green Growth Trust Fund, managed by the World Bank, catalyzed additional funding for the development of a rural broadband program that aims to identify and prepare a series of feasibility studies for bridging infrastructure gaps between urban and rural areas."Ubiquitous broadband coverage is a prerequisite that can really drive green growth in Kosovo by using information and communication technologies to quickly improve the quality of life,” said Eun Joo Allison Yi, Korea Green Growth Trust Fund Coordinator. “We hope that this technical assistance will provide the government with solid analytical input to extend broadband coverage and derive benefits from it. Then Kosovo’s action in implementing green growth will serve as a model for expansion of broadband connectivity and rollout of broadband services in other countries facing similar challenges."With two trust-funded technical assistance activities under way, the Ministry of Economic Development has requested deepening of the ICT engagement. The Government of Kosovo and the World Bank have started discussions on a potential project, which would be focused on the broadband Internet coverage extension pilots in selected rural areas of the country. Show Less -