|Harare set to twin with Chicago City|
|Friday, 02 September 2011 02:00|
Harare is set to twin with Chicago City, the capital of Illinois in the United States as part of the capital's efforts to strengthen relations with the outside world.
A sister relationship with Kazan City of Russia has already been approved by the full council with benefits of the relationship still to accrue.
Recently, Harare revived its relations with Cincinnati, the capital of Ohio State in the US.
Harare has twin relations with several other world cities that include Munich of Germany, Moscow of Russia and is establishing a sister arrangement with Guazhong of China.
Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda revealed during a full council meeting on Tuesday that he was travelling to Chicago with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to sign a twin sister agreement with Chicago.
He said Mr Tsvangirai was invited to attend a trade and cultural expo in Chicago that coincides with the signing ceremony.
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara established the link between Harare and Chicago when he held talks with Chicago mayor Richard Daley over the possibility of establishing the twinning arrangement.
Chicago is President Barack Obama's hometown.
DPM Mutambara was in the US in April last year to promote Zimbabwe as an investment centre and to initiate the twinning arrangement.
According to online publications, DPM Mutambara urged the people of Illinois to invest in Zimbabwe.
"We now have an inclusive Government in Zimbabwe, we have brought political stability, we have brought economic stability . . . what we want now is investment from Illinois."
City sister relationships began in 1956 shortly after World War II, when then US President Eisenhower proposed a people- to-people citizen diplomacy network in the US.
His goal was to involve individuals and organised groups at all levels of society in citizen diplomacy, with the hope that personal relationships, fostered through sister city agreements and county and state affiliations, would lessen the chance of future world conflicts.
There are attendant advantages of entering into twinning arrangements with world cities among them enabling citizens to become directly involved in international relations in a unique and meaningful way, bringing long-term benefits to the local community and its partners abroad. Sister City relationships allow communities to exchange ideas, gain an international perspective and increase their understanding of global issues. In addition to encouraging international peace and goodwill, many Sister City relationships go much further leading to economic growth, increased tourism and reliable business contacts.