Announcement Archive

Japan’s Kobe City and World Bank Sign Memorandum of Understanding on City Partnership Program

Monday, November 6th, 2017

story from Tokyo Development Learning Center

November 1, 2017, Kobe, Japan – Kobe City and the World Bank today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to intensify collaboration to conduct joint research, identify good practices, share knowledge and experience, and identify opportunities to link Japanese expertise with project-level engagements in developing countries.

The MOU commits both Kobe and the World Bank to document experiences and lessons on various development challenges and solution areas through joint research and through knowledge delivery and learning activities designed to share experience around specific development solutions. Kobe and World Bank will also engage in capturing and documenting practical “how to” experiences from relevant agencies in the City, and producing outputs such as knowledge notes, toolkits, good practice guides and videos.

Kobe Mayor Hisamoto and Sameh Wahba, Director of GSURR at the World Bank, participated in the MOU ceremony. Sameh said in his speech, “Today is just the beginning. I hope our collaboration will be even more solid in the future.” Mayor Hisamoto, by emphasizing the significance of this collaboration, said, “Kobe will be able to contribute to developing countries through World Bank’s network.” 

Kobe was severely destroyed by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake that occurred on January 17, 1995. Approximately 6,400 people lost their lives and about 4,600 of them were from Kobe. Among major cities, Kobe was the closest city to the epicenter and hit by the strongest tremors. However, Kobe demonstrated quick recovery after the Earthquake and boosted its economy by strong political will and successful public-private coordination in drawing investments and creating biomedical cluster in the city.

The World Bank announced that Kobe was selected for a new series of Case Studies extending the World Bank’s flagship report called “Competitive Cities for Jobs and Growth.” This flagship report provides a framework for helping city leaders think through the what, who and how of local economic growth and development. Kobe’s “Creative Reconstruction” is expected to be of great interest to many of World Bank’s clients.

Kobe City and the World Bank jointly conducted Technical Deep Dive (TDD) on Competitive Cities from October 30 to November 3 to discuss competitive cities, explored what is required and shared successful interventions. World Bank is also planning to organize TDD on Information Technologies for Improving Land Administration Services from November 13 to 17, during which the delegations will spend two days in Kobe City. Also, there is a Program Awareness Workshop planned on November 21 for a wider exposure of private sector and academia within the city to World Bank activities through TDLC.