The Herald (Zimbabwe)
Harare, S. Korean city strengthen ties
HARARE City Council has extended its twinning arrangement with the South Korean City of Cheonan to include a public official exchange programme, which has seen the Asian country deploying an agriculture specialist to work in Harare for one year.
The two cities have an existing cooperation in water and energy and fostering cultural and employee exchange programmes.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Harare mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni said the city’s relationship with Cheonan was a growing and productive one.
“We have had sustained engagement since this council was elected,” he said. “We have a very practical relationship, which we need to grow. We have had staff exchanges over the years and we would like to extend it.
“We have internal limitations that we cannot reciprocate. Our councillors have not been able to visit your city, but yours continue to visit. I would like my successor to prioritise a reciprocal visit to Cheonan. We are very happy that you are deploying a specialist who is going to be with us for a year. He is going to help the food and cropping sections.”
Clr Manyenyeni said the city was excited with the progress being made on the exchanges, saying his wish was for the two cities to be real twins who were equal in the exchanges.
“We want to create more things that excites Cheonan as it produces things that excite Harare,” he said.
Cheonan Deputy Mayor Mr Lee Pilyeong who led a high-powered delegation said he was happy to visit Africa and specifically Harare.
“This is my first time visiting Harare, the enthusiasm in Zimbabweans bring me positive energy as well as the city’s excellent plan,” he said.
“Despite the fact that Cheonan and Harare are in two different countries located on the other side of the world, due to our exchange since 2012 we bond and communicate through exchange programmes.
“It is my sincere hope that the two cities expand the exchanges in various fields like administration, culture, economy, education.”
Harare has over the years sent delegations to Cheonan on cultural visits and employees on attachment.
Cheonan is a major transportation hub in South Korea.
Harare also has twinning arrangements with several cities across the world: Munich (Germany), Nottingham (UK) and Cincinnati (Ohio, United States), Shenzhen of China and Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.
Other bilateral arrangements are with Lusaka (Zambia), Guangzhou (China), Havana (Cuba), Moscow (Russia), Dakar (Senegal) and Cairo (Egypt).