The Ambassador of the SR of Germany in Serbia, Anke Konrad, visited the city of Pirot, where, in addition to meeting with the mayor, she also attended the opening of the IT training centre, which is the result of cooperation and public-private partnership initiated by the city of Pirot and the Program “Inclusion of Roma and other marginalized groups in Serbia”. which is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in partnership with the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue.
As part of the visit, a meeting was held with representatives of seven local civil society organizations and organizations gathered around the Platform “Sustainable Development for All”, which is supported by the governments of Germany and Switzerland, and as part of the “Reform of Public Finances – Agenda 2030” project. Ambassador Konrad used the opportunity to visit the drinking water purification plant in Pirot, which is supported by the KfW investment bank.
Vladan Vasić, the mayor of the city of Pirot, after the meeting with the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Serbia Anka Konrad and the opening of the IT training centre, pointed out that the support of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and GIZ is of crucial importance for the development of the city itself, as well as the personnel it will have the opportunity to develop professionally.
“The information technology sector is very important for the development of Pirot. We from the local self-government made an effort in the previous period to develop it, and for that reason, we secured space in the Sports Hall and at the location next to the Bus station, through the ZIP Center project – Center for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship. We will also provide a new 1000 m2 for the IT upgrade of the Dom Vojska, and in order to develop the IT sector, the development of personnel is of crucial importance, and that is why this training centre we are opening, for which we are very grateful to GIZ and the support of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, fundamentally important. We will also try to realize the idea of opening a faculty that includes IT in its program, and as part of the University of Niš”, said Vasić.
Nina Mitić, Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, emphasized that it is in everyone’s interest for young people to stay in their local communities, and in order for that to happen, they need to be given the opportunity to develop personally and professionally. meaning.
“We have witnessed that several different entities can work on one good and unique idea, the results of which are incredible. Empowering young people, and empowering marginalized groups is the task of each of us, both state institutions and the private and civil sectors. I would also like to thank the German partners, and especially the Program “Inclusion of Roma and other marginalized groups in Serbia”, which helped the implementation of the Strategy for the Social Inclusion of Roma and Roma Women and the Strategy for the Prevention and Prohibition of Discrimination 2022-2030. Serbia has passed excellent laws and excellent strategic documents, and we still have a lot of work to do in terms of implementation and finding ways to reach every citizen in the Republic of Serbia. The city of Pirot is an example of good practice that showed initiative and understanding of sensitive social groups, with a special focus on Roma and Roma women”, added Nina Mitić.
At the opening of the IT training centre, Ambassador Konrad stated that in Pirot one can see a good example of a joint response to various challenges by bringing together local self-government, the private sector, civil society organizations and resources provided by German development cooperation, whose common goal is to reduce unemployment in this city and creation of perspective, decent and more competitive workplaces.
“The IT training centre was opened with the aim of contributing to the economic empowerment and employment of the most vulnerable groups in Pirot, among which the primary target groups are women, Roma, youth and other more difficult employable categories. German development cooperation is committed to supporting the socio-economic inclusion of marginalized groups and will continue to support its partners in Serbia in achieving a more inclusive future. In the City of Pirot, we have found a reliable partner who recognizes real opportunities and finds a way to use them in the best way. For us, Pirot is a true example of good practice. We encourage you to continue to nurture and strengthen such partnerships, because only together can we ensure a better future for local communities”, Ambassador Konrad concluded.