Speech by the Governor of the Bank of Albania, Mr. Ardian Fullani, at the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Bank of Albania and the Ministry of Education and Science. ''Qemal Stafa'' High School 13 December 2007.

Publication date: 13.12.2007


Dear Honourable Minister,

Dear students, dear guests!
It is a pleasure to be here among you today. For all of us there has been a "golden" time of being a high school student! This is that day for you. Try to respect and make it serve at its best to your own future!

I shall refrain myself from acting the teacher or the rigorous parent. I just want to be close and well understood by you. The reason of our being here today with you is to explain the importance of a central bank and what its functions are. What is the importance of a central bank in everyone's life? How useful is a central bank for the wellbeing of its country and ultimately, can a country's economy be developed without the existence of a central bank? All these questions definitely get their answers nowadays. The central bank is useful, indispensable and closely related to the life of people living in a modern world.

One may ask: What does it have to do with me?

I personally think this question deserves the classic answer: "You, the young, are the future of society". The Albanian society aims to integrate into the United Europe. In simple words, our society endeavours to integrate its best values with the already integrated European countries. I have my full conviction that you are indefinitely one of the values our society may be proud of.

Focusing on our topic I would like to briefly present our Central Bank. It is called the Bank of Albania and as you may already know it is situated in Scanderbeg Square, in a solid 70-year building. Its main function is to maintain price stability. Consequently, it contributes to our country's economic development and wellbeing. The provision of the banking system's stability is another important task of the Bank of Albania. The Bank of Albania also has the exclusive right to issue the national currency, the Lek as you already know.

Another important task of the Bank is the responsibility for the well-functioning of payments in the national currency.

These and other important functions are carried out by the Bank of Albania in order to assist the development of our economy and the wellbeing of all Albanians. To achieve this goal, the Bank of Albania does not act on its own, isolated or detached from the reality. It is fundamental for the Bank of Albania to be independent and distant from any kind of influence. On the other hand, independence implies accountability and transparency which combined together provide high confidence. The latter is key condition for achieving the aforementioned objectives.

Within this institutional framework, in co-operation with specialized international institutions, the Bank of Albania has drafted and approved contemporary laws and regulations, which allow it to carry out its activity in a sound and safe regulative environment.

Moreover, the Bank has invested in establishing a modern technological base. Our staff operates with updated programmes and systems allowing the Bank to observe the best standards in this area and be in line with the overall development level of banking today.

However, the greatest investments of all that the Bank of Albania has made over the years is the well-educated, qualified and specialized staff which may be comparable to many other central banks', far more developed than Albania.

One may ask: How many people in Albania are aware of all these things? I have another question: How many people need to know about the Bank of Albania? The answer comes natural. Everyone needs to know! By having information on a given institution and its tasks you may establish a relationship with it. In our case, for the relationship to be stable and work for everyone's best it should be a relationship based on trust, growing from constant communication.

In its endeavours to earn and preserve public trust, the Bank of Albania is in constant communication with the public, based on the principles of transparency and reciprocal values.

I take this opportunity and to be open, it is not usual for me to be in front of such a promising audience, to say a few words on this educational programme that the Bank of Albania has designed and started to implement called "Central Bank in everyday life!"

You should not be surprised if I tell you that you are our main target group. Earlier I mentioned our great ambition to integrate into Europe; however, I have my strong conviction that finance as any other thing needs to be learned and this is the right age for you when learning is your main focus.

To this purpose, the above mentioned programme includes the following three directions:

1. Training seminars for high school professors teaching economics, focussing on the area of economy, finance and banking in general and central banking, in particular.
2. Meetings with third grade high school students studying economics, having talks on topics related with economy, personal finance management and the role and functions of a central bank in particular. Moreover, the Bank of Albania will distribute to the public at large our educational brochures.
3. The organization of a competition among high schools in Tirana titled "The Real Value of Money". Through this competition we do not only aim to enlarge your knowledge on the way the central bank operates in order to achieve its main objective, maintain price stability, but also help you to develop your work in group skill to achieve the result and obviously to entertain yourselves.

Ultimately, it is very important for me to remind and at the same time assure you that I would really welcome any of your comments, requests, ideas or suggestions related to this topic.

I assure you that they will be reflected in our further work in the education area. Only in this way, this relationship will prove to be useful to all of us.
Thank your for accepting me as a friend into your school and for giving me the pleasure to address to you.