Accra, Newark enter into sister-city relationship
By Zainabu Issah, Accra
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has signed a cooperative agreement with the City of Newark, New Jersey in the United States of America (USA), to study mutual opportunities in both cities that would facilitate the development of joint ventures and exchanges in the fields of industry and commerce, among others.
Under the agreement, the two cities would also do their utmost best to facilitate favorable conditions for cooperation in the areas of information and communication technology, environmental sanitation, energy, education, cultural and city management by establishing contacts between businesses and other organizations.
Newark and Ghana
Newark is the largest city by population in the US state of New Jersey and one of the nation’s major air, shipping and rail hubs.
Also home to a lot of Ghanaians, the city in 2011 renamed one of its streets, Victoria Street, ‘Ghanaian Way’, after Ghana beat the USA in a soccer match in South Africa 2011.
Reports have it that Ghanaians who watched the match jubilated on the street in such a way that the police thought they were rioting and wanted to arrest them.
A phone call was made to the Mayor of Newark, Mr. Ras Jones Baraka about the situation and he ordered the road to be closed but the Ghanaian fans continued jubilating throughout the night.
Later on Mr. Baraka followed up to the place and when he saw the street carnival he decided to name the street ‘Ghanaian Way.’
Speaking at the agreement signing ceremony in Accra last Monday, Mr. Baraka said his visit was intended to create a long, lasting relationship between the two cities for them to exchange ideas social customs and promote economic advancement.
He also said since his arrival, he had made some connections with Ghanaians and understands that ‘the water that divides us is not as strong as the blood that binds us.’ Therefore, he said, it was important for Africans all over the globe to see one another as brothers and sisters and use that bond to create opportunities that are mutually beneficial to them.
Demonstration of commitment
The Chief Executive Officer of AMA, Dr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, said the presence of Mr. Baraka was a demonstration of his commitment to strengthen the relationship between the two cities.
He also said the assembly looked forward to collaborate with some companies in Newark, such as a water purification company, to use their expertise to transform and filter some water bodies in Accra and make them safe for drinking.