Prishtina, May 30, 2023 – For the fourth year in a row, the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo in cooperation with the Kosovo Leadership Foundation and James Madison University organized the Kosovo Leadership Conference. This conference brought together inspiring people from all over the region, outstanding industry leaders, and great panel discussions on the most important current topics.
The first speaker to grace the stage was Ahmet Shala, representing the Kosovo Leadership Foundation who shared his long and inspiring journey to successful leadership. He stated that one of the Foundation’s purposes and main objectives is promoting Kosovo and all the great things it has to offer. According to him, beyond leadership, another very important thing in life is making friendships that transcend acquaintances and resemble the strong wings that allow birds to fly freely across an open sky.
AmCham’s Executive Director Arian Zeka had a similar story to share, emphasizing the importance of strong leadership as a necessity to achieving peace and prosperity in Kosovo, the Balkans, and South Eastern Europe. According to Zeka, leaders must possess the vision, courage, and determination to navigate all challenges, as strong leadership is crucial to ensuring economic development and enabling an environment for investments.
The Honorable Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, Emilija Redžepi during her keynote speech stated that sustainable peace is only achieved through justice, inclusiveness and respect for human rights, without which we cannot create a society in which every individual feels safe and respected. Redžepi also added that a multi-ethnic Kosovo must not only exist on paper, but everything in our power must be done to ensure that laws are respected in all institutions.
Following Deputy Prime Minister Redzepi, Perparim Rama the Mayor of Prishtina took the floor stating that we as a people have a collective responsibility to promote peace. Staying on theme with the subject, Mayor Rama also said that leadership is crucial because it serves as a powerful tool that brings people together, so we make the difference and walk ahead towards our common vision.
Drawing examples from great leaders in history such as Former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Member of Parliament Doarsa Kica-Xhelili, stated that leadership is a matter of spirit, mind and heart. She further added that she would like, in the future, to see a certain sense of destitution in leadership, a sense of doing things that would really help the country in the long run, even if these actions are met with apprehension.
Ending the long and inspiring string of keynote speakers, former U.S. Congressman and Ambassador Tony P. Hall touched on the subject of leadership by sharing his own journey with participants. According to him, the spiritual aspect is equally as important, and prayers and connections with all individuals, despite their social status or other differences makes quite a positive difference.
The conference went on with amazing panel discussions, touching on subjects such as culture, education and sports as well as the role of cyber security and digital transformation in sustainable peace and development.