Friday 13th April, 2012
Cape Coast April 13, GNA - The Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly (CCMA), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the city of Bonn, Germany, to consolidate a sister-city partnership between them.
The Mr Anthony Egyir Aikins, Cape Coast Metropolitan Chief Executive, signed on behalf of CCMA whilst Mr Juergen Nimptsch, Lord Mayor of Bonn, signed for his city.
The ceremony was attended by delegates from Bonn, the University of Cape Coast, Traditional Authorities, local assemblies and heads of departments and a cross section of the public.
It saw a symbolic tree planting exercise at the Fosu Lagoon to kick -start the Fosu Lagoon Climate Change Project.
In his Welcoming address, Mr Aikins said the Sister City Partnership with the Bonn started in 2007, by the previous administration of the assembly.
He said as a sign of commitment to the partnership, GIZ arranged for some Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly officials to attend about five conferences and capacity building sessions in Bonn and other countries sfrom 2008.
The Metropolitan chief executive said the signing of the MOU, which marks the consummation of the partnership, is to help promote the exchange of experiences in areas such as sustainable development, especially climate protection, use of renewable energies, protection and preservation of biological diversity, waste management , tourism, science education, youth and cultural affairs, in accordance with the principles of equality and mutuality.
He said it is also to maintain regular exchange of information and to communicate and share information on projects and ideas as well as support contacts maintained through associations and societies because the establishment of friendly relations benefit from these efforts in a special manner.
Additionally, it would intensify relations between Bonn and Cape Coast to effectively network the cities and their points of contact thus contributing to a long-term sustained cooperation.
Mr Aikins said the sister–city partnership’s major and direct benefit would be on the reclaiming of the Fosu Lagoon, which is gradually dying from poor environmental and sanitation management practices coupled with the effects of climate change.
He said to help save the lagoon from further pollution and siltation, the assembly with technical support from the City Council of Bonn, submitted a proposal to BMZ for a 500,000.00 Euros.
Under the Climate Change Project, it seeks to restore the Fosu Lagoon as its contribution to climate change adaption and protection of biodiversity .
Mr Aikins said the proposal has been approved and that with the signing of the MOU the project would soon commence.
The MCE said to ensure that other sectors were also catered for, efforts were being made to bring in health and education and that the twinning of institutions of learning from the basic level to the tertiary level.
The University of Cape Coast and the Bonn-Rhine –Sieg University of Applied Science are already in a twin relationship.
Additionally, an NGO called ANDO, formed by a group of young doctors in Germany, has initiated the process of establishing a children’s Hospital at Efutu in the Cape Coast Metropolis and that there was also a proposed kick and learn project in the metropolis, with GIZ supporting the assembly with placement of experts who advice the assembly in various fields.
He expressed the hope that the partnership would yield positive results, which would come in the form of technical assistance and support that would cover both the young and old in the educational institutions, cultural exchanges to enrich the cultural heritage, better ways for managing waste to prevent environmental pollution and enhancing health delivery system.
For his part, Mr Juergen Nimptsch said CCMA was the youngest and the only city in Africa that Bonn had entered such a partnership with and expressed the hope that the relationship would yield results that would mutually benefit the two cities.
He said it was his hope to see a flourishing relationship between the Bonn University of Applied Sciences and the UCC and that his outfit would do everything to help address the environmental problems of the CCMA.
Mr Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, Deputy Central Regional Minister, commended the two cities for the partnership stressing that if they strategically positioned themselves they would be able to benefit mutually from the relationship.
Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman Vice chancellor of UCC , underscored the socio-economic importance the Fosu Lagoon has for the people of Cape Coast and expressed content that it was part of the projects that would be implemented under the partnership.
She said the UCC was ready to give the necessary technical support for the implementation of the project, stressing that, it was the aim of the UCC to be part of the Cape Coast Community and that it would endeavour to help the Community solve its major problems.