|L-R: W. Kariuki; Mutegi; L.K.Johnson; J.Mutia and Gichaci|
Ms. Lorna K. Johnson’s visit aimed at acquainting Mr. Raymond Kiptum, the Program Manager, EASC, on the operations of Sister Cities International and planning for the impending Eastern Africa Sister Cities launch scheduled to take place end of November 2011. The Consultant also sought updates on the EASC Action Plan.
|L-R : R. Kiptum; L.K.Johnson; W. Kinyanyi; HWM G.Aladwa|
During her visit to Thika, which has partnered with Dixon, Illinois (USA) since 2007 as a sister city, Ms. Lorna K. Johnson was received by the Town Clerk, Mr. John Mutie, and members of Thika- Dixon Sister City Committee. The chairperson of the committee Mr. William Kariuki stated that Thika’s relationship with Dixon has been of great benefit to the town in terms of cultural exchange.
|HWM George Aladwa presents an emblem to L.K. Johnson|
He however recommended the need to take the relationship from social-cultural exchange to include economic benefit. He suggested that this should be spearheaded by a strong committee which involves business people and local citizens, other than politicians who are not permanently in office. The members of the committee suggested that a sustainable project such as micro-credit facilities be set up by the SCI to improve the wellbeing of the society.
The Town Clerk welcomed hailed the formation of the Eastern Africa Sister Cities office and promised to work with it. He said that Thika Municipal Council is pleased to strengthen its relationship with Dixon city and even partner with other towns to improve the status of its citizens.
|HWM George Aladwa presents the City Council of Nairobi flag to L.K. Johnson|
In the City Council of Nairobi, a Sister City to Denver, Colorado (USA), The SCI representative met His Worship the Mayor of Nairobi, Mr. Godfrey Aladwa; the Deputy Mayor and some city Councilors who included Councillor Mohammed R. Gore, chairperson of the Denver-Nairobi Sister City.
The Mayor also welcomed the initiative of setting up the Eastern Africa Sister Cities office in Nairobi and pledged his support and presence at the launch. He charged Cllr. Gore to work with Mr. Kiptum, EASC Program Manager, to ensure that twinning benefits Nairobi.
“I believe Mr. Kiptum and Cllr. Gore will spearhead the formation of a strong committee and I have no doubt that this partnership will boost the progress of Nairobi City,” observed the Mayor.
Cllr. Gore promised to revive Nairobi city’s relationship with Denver which had fallen dormant due to changes in political regimes. He requested the Mayor to allow the Denver Gardens which were demolished due to the ongoing road expansion programme to be relocated to Parklands.
Like the Thika committee, the Nairobi team proposed that SCI looks into prospects of empowering Nairobi’s youth by setting up micro-credit facilities to be managed by the EASC office. Ms. Lorna K. Johnson promised to forward their proposal to the SCI office in Washington.
The Mayor sent a message of well wishes to the people of Denver and presented an emblem and a banner to be delivered by Ms. Lorna to Denver City Council.
|L-R: Clr M. Gore; W. Kinyanyi; L.K Johnson; G. Aladwa; R. Kiptum; Clr E.C. Ombajo|
Lorna was optimistic that the Nairobi-Denver Sister City would be a good example to other cities in the region. “The reactivation of Nairobi-Denver partnership is critical to the success of Eastern African Region,” observed Ms. Lorna K. Johnson.
Sister Cities International aims to encourage twinning between Eastern African cities and cities abroad, intra-African twinning and intra-Eastern Africa. City twinning promotes peace through mutual respect, understanding, & cooperation between partnering cities. Communities creatively learn, work, and solve problems through cultural, educational, municipal, business, professional, and technical exchanges and projects.
By Raymond Kiptum
Program Manager, EASC.