Government officials from Côte d’Ivoire learn from the postwar reconstruction of Hiroshima

by Yota Baba, Staff Writer

Six officials from the central and local governments of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire are visiting Japan to learn from examples of Japan’s postwar reconstruction in order to rebuild their war-torn country. On May 28, they attended a lecture in Hiroshima and learned how the city was rebuilt after World War II by reaching consensus among the citizenry over land readjustment.

The six officials, who are visiting Japan at the invitation of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), heard from Norioki Ishimaru, director of a local research institute specializing in the postwar history of Hiroshima. Mr. Ishimaru recounted various efforts made by the governments of Hiroshima City and Hiroshima Prefecture, including how high-rise apartment buildings were constructed for people in dire need of housing, such as those living on the river banks.

With Côte d'Ivoire suffering from a series of civil wars until 2011, conditions there are still chaotic, the participants said. The people still feel hostility toward one another, and the streets have been overrun by vendors.

Coulibarly Bengaly, 45, director of the department of human development of the Yopougon metropolitan district, said, “I was impressed by the resilience of Hiroshima, which stood up from the ashes of the atomic bombing. Learning from Hiroshima’s experiences, such as patiently persuading people to accept evictions, we would like to use what we have learned here in our efforts back home.”

(Originally published on May 29, 2014)