Cologne, September 30 - Oktober 2, 2019. Currently ten experts are assigned to support municipal partnerships in Belarus, Indonesia, South Africa, Tanzania, Turkey, Tunisia and Ukraine. The areas of specialisation vary, ranging from urban development, to business development tothe development of smart cities. German municipalities with partners in the Global South have assigned these experts to their respective partner municipalities for two to four years. In return they receive extensive support fromthe Service Agency and its cooperation partner the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
At the learning workshop in Cologne participants compared notes on how experts in the local authorities in the South can help build long-term structures that will enable the municipalities to continue the initiated work sustainably. Martin Messner, for instance, who is employed in the Ukrainian partner city of Kharkiv, reported that the city's structures for local business development are much better placed today than they were even two years ago. 'The municipality now has an office for local business development with a budget and staff', he reported. The expert employed in Cologne's partner city Tunis – Jörg Naumann – launched activities for environmental education. Using an exhibition he was able to make many key actors aware of the need for sustainable solid waste management.