BY SAM BANDA JNR:
The cities of Hannover in Germany and Blantyre in Malawi have renewed their 50-year-old partnership.
The renewal was overseen by the two cities’ fathers last weekend in Hannover during a ceremony to mark the Golden Jubilee of their twinning.
Blantyre City Mayor, Wild Ndipo, said though physically worlds apart, it was moving to think that, over the years, the two cities have grown so close.
“Like all the best friendships, city twinning is highly flexible in bringing communities together to share problems, exchange views and understand and celebrate both our differences and similarities; taking the best our communities have to offer,” Ndipo said.
He said Hannover and Blantyre’s friendship and goodwill started when a delegation of young Malawians visited the German metropolis as part of their fact-finding tour.
The twinning agreement came into effect in 1968 and Ndipo said it fosters mutual interest to both cities, especially in the promotion of social and cultural exchanges among others.
“Under this relationship, we have reaped benefits even in the area of education. We have Malawians pursuing professional studies here in Hannover,” he said.
Ndipo further said that Blantyre has also welcomed students from Hannover on short-period internships and that there are projects such as Chilobwe Vocational College that have benefitted from this relationship.
He also said a number of Blantyre-based artists had been to Hannover to hone their skills.
Ndipo told the gathering that Blantyre is a small city of over one million people with minimal resources.
“But with friends like Hannover City, who are willing and ready to support us, we look to the future with hope. I am confident that our relationship will continue to thrive as future generations discover what the two cities have in common,” he said.
Hannover City Mayor, Stefan Schostok, also described the partnership as important, saying there have been lots of benefits in areas of training and education.
Malawi Ambassador to Germany, Michael Kamphambe Nkhoma, took advantage of the celebration to call upon business players in Germany to invest in Malawi.
Kamphambe said it was pleasing that Blantyre and Hannover were twin cities working together in different projects.
“Malawi is a beautiful country with many attractions including Lake Malawi. We invite you to come and do business in Malawi. Our office is open if you need more information,” he said.
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