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16.06.2005 Regional News

Aliu encourages district assemblies, municipalities to form partnerships

GNA

Accra, June 16, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama on Thursday urged local government institutions to prioritise the formation of partnerships under the Sister-City Programme to accelerate their socio-economic advancement. The sister-city relationship, he explained, enabled the twin cities to dialogue on how best they could apply technical, operational and logistical systems to their mutual socio-economic benefit. He made the remarks when he received a delegation from Chicago, Heights, US, which is in Ghana to sign a Memorandum of Understanding towards making Asuogyaman District in the Eastern Region and Chicago Heights sister cities.

The Vice President Mahama, who was once the Chairman of the Tamale-Louisville (Kentucky) Sister City Committee, said the relationships formed by sister cities also built bridges among peoples and promoted understanding and solidarity for global peace and solidarity.

Usually, bilateral relationships are formed between nations and officials at the governmental level but the sister cities relationships seek to bring about interaction among the people at the grassroots level, advocates have said. Vice President Mahama paid tribute to the initiators of the sister-city programme, saying their vision has made it possible for well-endowed communities to support weaker ones. Former US President Dwight Eisenhower introduced the concept of Sister Cities Relationships in 1956, as a non-profit, non-governmental network and movement of citizens, corporations, NGOs and institutional

partners all over the world. Mr Kevin Perkins, Chairman of the Chicago Heights Sister-City African Diaspora Initiative, said their ultimate goal was to reconnect African-Americans with their siblings in Africa. Through dialogue, cultural, educational, technical and other exchange programmes, Mr Perkins said, he was hopeful that the vision would be realized. The Mayor of Chicago HTS, Mr Anthony Deluca, is expected to arrive on Sunday for the signing ceremony on Monday. Dr G.K. Siaw, acting District Chief Executive of Asuogyaman, accompanied the delegation, which included Lorenzo E. Martin, an assemblyman and the publishers of the Standard Newspaper of Chicago HTS.

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