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Forced displacement is among the most pressing challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean region. In the Middle East and Turkey, the Syrian refugee crisis involves humanitarian challenges coupled with significant spillover effects in neighboring regions. After six years of Syrian conflict and displacement, Syrian refugees are seen as medium-term stayers and urban communities are especially affected by their presence, as refugees mostly reside in towns and cities.

Climate Action Peer Exchange (CAPE) is a forum for peer learning, knowledge sharing, and mutual advisory support. It brings together ministers and senior technical specialists from finance ministries across the world, as well as World Bank staff and other international experts, to discuss the fiscal challenges involved in implementing the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) established under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Most African countries see industrialization as part of their path to economic growth. Many are developing Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to improve economic performance, but they are experiencing implementation challenges. As a result, there is a growing demand to learn from successful strategies in SEZ development. Building on earlier exchanges and capacity development facilitated by the World Bank, 18 African countries participated in a regional conference with the theme of the role of Free Zones in achieving Millennium Development Goals in Africa.

The governments of Africa want to improve the investment climate and reduce poverty in their countries through modernization and industrialization. Learning from the Asian experience, many governments are developing Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to achieve these goals. Chinese knowledge, experience, and investment have been invaluable in developing these zones. However, most African countries still lack the infrastructure to make such SEZs effective and competitive on international markets.

Djibouti was heavily dependent on food and energy imports, while about three-fourths of its population lived in extreme poverty. The government had been exploring alternative ways for alleviating poverty through social assistance programs financed by international institutions, such as the World Bank. It was among the first countries to receive a grant from the Global Food Crisis Response Program (GFRP).

Ethiopia and Tanzania are rich in natural resources, but both face questions on how to best govern the mining industry to ensure economic transparency and growth. The Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) helps address the development and governance challenges facing these and other resource-rich nations. The knowledge exchange with Liberia was an opportunity to learn from the experience of a more mature EITI implementation.


What was the objective of the South-South exchange? : The Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) sought to learn from India how to implement and sustain a credit facility dedicated to women’s economic empowerment leveraging microfinance institutions, as part of the World Bank’s funded Women Entrepreneurship Development Project (WEDP) in Ethiopia. Learning was expected to improve the participants’ understanding of the whole "value chain" of a microfinance line of credit.