The cities of Cape Coast in Ghana and New Orleans in the United States on Monday signed a Sister-City relationship agreement to strengthen ties between them.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed at a brief ceremony at the Central Regional Coordinating Council seeks to also provide mutual benefit to their communities.
With the goals of prosperity, the two parties are expected to explore opportunities to cultivate closer relations with one another in the areas of economic development, cultural exchanges, educational opportunities, and technical exchanges.
Under the agreement, the two cities are supposed to benefit from each other in the academic arena through the cooperation between respective universities and other educational institutions; cooperation and exchange between local development agencies, chambers of commerce and tourism departments; opportunities for municipal exchanges including Economic Development in the areas of Tourism, Agriculture, Infrastructure, City Management, Waste and Water Management as well as Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management and Climate Change.
Addressing the gathering, Mayor of Cape Coast, Ernest Arthur, explained the agreement is to support exchanges of art and cultural products between the respective museums and galleries and other cultural institutions.
The origins of this relationship and shared history, he recounts, can be traced back to the most traumatic interruption that ever occurred in the natural evolution of African societies – the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
“There is no doubt we share a lot in common and we must make them count. Our Agric sector is making giant strides. Government has introduced several policies out of which we have chosen the planting of coconut and we know, it will serve both of us well,” he stressed.
The Mayor of the City of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, revealed each party shall seek to identify other areas for collaboration and, in all activities, work for the benefit of both communities.
She said the aforementioned activities will be facilitated by a joint New Orleans-Cape Coast Sister Cities Committee through which both cities shall participate towards the fulfilment of this Agreement.
“Both cities will endeavour to formulate the structure and membership of this Committee and ensure that it convenes at least once a year, or whenever necessary, for the purposes of collaboration, representation, and evaluation of the respective city’s contributions toward this Agreement,” she averred.
The City of Cape Coast is expected to be in the City of New Orleans in July to participate in a festival.
The ceremony was attended by the President of Oguaa Traditional Council, Osaberima Kwesi Atta II; Deputy Minister for Tourism, Dr Ziblim Iddi; Deputy Minister for Works and Housing, Barbara Asher Ayisi and Zongo chief, Mahmoud Mazawojey Dandey.
Also in attendance was the Executive Secretary of PANAFEST Foundation, Rabi Kohain Halevi; Metro Co-ordinating Director, Rachel Fosua Sarpong; members of management at the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly and friends from the diaspora.