PRIME MINISTER OF ALBANIA
• As Prime Minister of Albania, Rama is loved for championing a number of initiatives that have transformed urban space for the better–from beautifying the city with paint to creating an abundance of new green space.
• Rama led important post-Communist reforms, including the vetting of government officials to reestablish civic trust.
• In addition to his civic innovations, Rama is a noteworthy painter and writer, and grew up the son of a sculptor.
Edi Rama, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania, counts his contribution in arts, sports, and teaching as a publicist and politician.
He used to be a professor of painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and a player for Albania’s national basketball team, and is the author of two books, Reflections and Kurban, as well as two art books containing his works with the distinguished artist Anri Sala. He has also been an author of and participant in many worldwide art exhibitions. Edi Rama’s involvement in the public and political life of the country starts with the movement for democracy that led to the dismantling of the communist regime in Albania.
“I’m not sure I am a politician.
I would say that I am still an artist, and I’m trying to use politics as an instrument for change.”
Following a hiatus of several years in which he left Albania to dedicate himself to the artistic life, Edi Rama entered politics in the capacity of the Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports in 1998.
In 2000, Rama ran for mayor of Tirana Municipality. Upon taking over, he set off on a campaign aimed at transforming and regenerating the capital city by restoring public spaces that were until then usurped by illegal buildings and by increasing the green areas. He succeeded in his projects to introduce color in public spaces among the ruined facades of residential buildings of the communist era, to rehabilitate Lana Riverbed, to increase the number of recreational parks and green areas in the city, as well as reconstruct Tirana’s road network. Rama led the Albanian capital for 11 years.
In 2005, Rama was elected chair of the Socialist Party of Albania, leading this force through the difficult opposition years and into the victory of 23 June 2013.