Ambassador Delawie’s Remarks at the Completion Ceremony for 3rd Round of Energy Internships

Ambassador Delawie’s Remarks at the Completion Ceremony for 3rd Round of Energy Internships, March 1st; 2018

Good morning everyone, it’s an honor to be here today.  I want to thank Repower for helping make this day possible, as well as our partners at the University of Prishtina and RIT Kosovo.  And of course, I want to commend our partners in the energy sector, at KEK, and KOSST, and the Energy Regulatory Office, for their strong support and participation in this internship program.

We know that there are few issues more critical to Kosovo’s growth and development than a secure and stable energy supply.  Finding and nurturing the next generation of skill and talent couldn’t be more urgent, because the sector faces so many pressing challenges.  Ensuring the security of electricity supply, working towards regional integration, and making progress on generation diversification – Kosovo needs its best and brightest tackling these problems every day.

Just two months ago at the Kosova e Re signing ceremony, I noted that that project represents the largest foreign investment in Kosovo’s history.   Well this internship is an investment of another kind – and just as critical – in the education and development of the experts of tomorrow.

There’s no substitute for practical, hands-on experience.  Even the finest education in the world is not complete without real-world experience, and programs like this one help build a critical bridge between academia and the workplace, ensuring that graduates are ready on day one to take their place in this vital, complex industry.

As Kosovo’s energy sector takes big steps to modernize itself, this internship program is therefore playing a pivotal role at a pivotal time, equipping students with the skills and technical knowledge they need to lead the sector into the future.  It also helps attract needed talent to the sector by giving students confidence that their hard work and dedication will be met with employment opportunities in their field.

I also understand that more than half the interns in the first three rounds of the program were women, and I commend all of you for your dedication and commitment to bringing greater gender equality to the energy sector.  Ensuring that women are no longer underrepresented in this sector is the right thing to do, but it’s also the smart thing to do.  Every society benefits when it can pull from the full measure of available intellect and skill.  Inclusion is a strength, and Kosovo only grows stronger when all her citizens have the opportunity to contribute.

As you know, we’ve just wrapped up a week of celebrations for Kosovo’s incredible 10th anniversary of independence.  And as I look out at all these future leaders of Kosovo’s energy sector, I’m more optimistic than ever about the next 10 years.

Kosovo is counting on you, and I’m sure you will pursue the next steps in your careers with the same ability, enthusiasm, and tenacity that you’ve demonstrated so far.  I can’t wait to see what you’ll accomplish next.  Thank you, and best of luck to you all.