Harare has entered into a twinning arrangement with China’s Guangzhou City, which is regarded as the South Gateway to China and widely considered as the regional centre and communication hub of the Asian nation.
Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong Province and is located on the northern edge of the Pearl River Delta adjacent to Hong Kong, Macao and the South China Sea.
A delegation from the city was in the country to finalise the arrangement and exchange documents with their Harare counterparts, which they took to China where they are expected to be signed after being translated into the Chinese language.
Harare Mayor Mr Bernard Manyenyeni said Guangzhou was one of the metropolitan cities in the world and it presented Harare with vast opportunities.
“They are solid on infrastructure, waste management, housing and construction, their financial centres are international hubs — so for a city like ours in need of technical expertise, funding, this is a great opportunity for us — and the twinning is exciting.
“I have revised my view of twinning. Where there are obvious benefits, let’s go for them but I am not going to take Harare as a begging bowl.
“We must also show our opportunities, they must be as excited about us as we are about them. So, l am of a completely different mindset when it comes to twinning. Twins are twins and besides, no one carries the other, we have a beautiful country, great weather lots of great people,” he said.
Director General of the Commission for Internal and Judicial Affairs and member of the Standing Committee of Guangzhou Municipal People’s Congress, who was also the team leader, Mr Peng Mengjian, said he hoped the arrangement would benefit both cities.
“We believe that both cities will benefit from each other’s complementary advantages and achieve greater success when the two cities establish the sister-city ties,” he said.
Guangzhou, established some 2 200 years ago, has a population of 10 million.
The city has signed sister-city arrangements with 22 cities.
Harare will become the second African city after Durban of South Africa to twin with Guangzhou.
Zimbabwe and China enjoy very good relations founded on the principle of mutual respect and development.
Diplomatic relations between China and Zimbabwe were established on April 18, 1980.
Prior to that, China had given technical, financial and moral support to Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle.