Representatives from seven Lebanese municipalities travelled to Germany on September 25th to participate in a four-day event organised by Connective Cities. The goals of this event were to introduce the representatives to good practical examples of local economic development, the topic of the event, and develop their own concepts that could then be promoted in potential German-Lebanese project partnerships.
The event first saw the Lebanese participants on a two-day study tour, then join German municipal representatives for a two-day project workshop in Hamm. Therefore, the Lebanese delegation members were able to process the impressions they gained and formulate concrete project drafts that can be promoted and supported by the “Municipal know-how for host communities in the Middle East” programme, which was the context in which the event was hosted.
Participating institutions were the Lebanese cities of Al Qaa, Bourj Hammoud, El Hebbariyye, Jezzine, Nahr Ibahim, Qrayeh and Zgharta Eden, as well as the German business development institutions of the cities of Dortmund, Munich, Magdeburg, Hamm, and the districts of Steinfurt and Warendorf, along with the institutions Maximilianpark GmbH, Network Inner City North-Rhine Westphalia, the Rural Women’s Association District of Gütersloh and the municipality Kirchhundem.
The delegates visited multiple German projects on the topic of local economic development, for example the start-up incubator in Steinfurt. There, they spoke to German practitioners about the opportunities and challenges in promoting local tourism and marketing local agricultural products. They also took a tour of the “Denkmalpflege-Werkhof e.V.” in Steinfurt, where they were able to deepen their knowledge on the preservation of historical monuments in an open dialogue with the project coordinator.
On September 27th, the Lebanese and German municipal representatives met in Hamm for the project workshop, where they had time to present their individual project ideas and unique challenges and also had the chance to get to know each other and form five potential project partnerships. The independently selected focal points of these projects were, for example, the development of a market for regional products such as olive oil in order to generate new jobs.
The participants left the event with clearly defined steps towards implementing the projects and promising grounds for potential cooperation. The “Municipal know-how for host communities on the Middle East” programme will continue to support these Projects.
Silvia Boehmsdorff, Connective Cities
Connective Cities & Municipal Know-How for host communities in the Middle East
Silvia Boehmsdoff und Angela König, Service agency Communities in One World