The Minister of Lands and Regional Government, Amul Nyassi, over the weekend presided over the twinning ceremonies of Banjul City Council (BCC) with Nanning City Council (NCC) of the Republic of China; and Harare City Council (HCC), Republic of Zimbabwe, held at the BCC chambers.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Nyassi commended both cities for their foresight in coming up with “this good idea of sharing development ideas for the betterment of the people of their respective cities”.
He also registered profound appreciation to the facilitators of the twinning for ensuring that the process is a success, notably the former mayor of Banjul, James Furmus Gomez and others.
“My Ministry, Banjul City Council and Banjul as a city all have a stake to make sure the twinning of these three cities bear fruit and on behalf of my Ministry I will support you in this endeavour,” the Minister stated.
He assured the Nanning City Council Mayoress that the Government of The Gambia and President Jammeh in particular is fully supportive of the move.
For the Harare-BCC twinning, Minister Nyassi said it is high time as Africans “we realised our potentials and what Allah the Almighty gave us”.
He noted that the twinning of BCC with HCC will go even beyond just benefiting Banjul alone, that instead the whole country will benefit.
He went on: “As Africans we need to forget about our differences and face the development of our mother land, Africa for the betterment of our future leaders.”
He assured the BCC officials that his Ministry will support them in whatever development projects they want to bring to the city.
The Mayor of BCC, Alhaji Abdoulie Bah expressed gratitude to the Minister for gracing the occasion.
He affirmed that the relationship between BCC and NCC dates back to 1987 during the time of the former Mayor of Banjul, James Furmus Gomez.
“We are here to rekindle the already existing relationship between BCC and NCC and by so doing strengthen our relationship to the highest level,” he assured.
Bah promised that the relationship will be jealously guarded for the mutual interest of the people of the two cities.
He informed the gathering that he was part of the delegation that went to Nanning City Council in China in 1987 to cement the bilateral ties. “It is very fortunate that today I am the Mayor of BCC signing the twinning document for these two cities which is amazing for me,” he said.
For Harare City Council, Mayor Bah said the twinning will harness potential areas that can translate into transforming the lives and livelihoods of the people of the two cities.
The purpose of the twinning of these two cities, he went on, is to cement the bond of friendship between Banjul and Harare, who share the same culture and tradition”.
The Mayor therefore expressed delight at the materialisation of what he called a flourishing bond of understanding and cooperation between the people of the two great cities.
Both the Mayoress of Nanning City Council, Juan Wu and Harare City Council, Enock Mupamawonde assured the Local Government Minister and BCC officials of their highest regard for the twinning.
The event witnessed an exchange of souvenirs from the cities.
It was attended by Muslim elders of Banjul, students, and other dignitaries, among others.
by Lamin B. Darboe