The Ho Municipal Assembly and the City of Gainesville, Florida US, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to foster cooperation and development.
Lauren Poe, Mayor of Gainesville, and Divine Bosson, Municipal Chief Executive of Ho, signed the agreement via virtual meeting platform, Zoom, in the presence of local stakeholders.
The MoU would lead to the exploration of common interests in education, economic, and cultural sectors of both cities.
Mayor Poe held up Gainesville’s renewable energy acclaim, being the fifth largest producer of solar power per capita in the world, and said a sustained partnership should benefit all.
He said Ho had become Gainesville 10th sister city in the world, and the first in Africa.
“We are looking forward to a long relationship with the city of Ho. We are excited to broaden our relationship and continue working for peace and security. We will work together and focus on what to do together,” he remarked.
The mayor was optimistic about common interests in healthcare and education, as well as opportunities for collaboration between related institutions and organisations.
The Ho MCE, on his part, called the event “an epoch-making signage between our two cities,” and declared, “We are the best in Africa today.”
He said almost 70 per cent of the city’s 200,000 population resided in the urban centres and that the twin city programme would help develop its economic and social prospects.
Mr Bosson said the MoU was the city’s second, noting also that one with Namibia was on the table.
The MCE tasked technocrats of the Assembly to begin processes on the partnership programme, while announcing a trip to Florida in November to physically cement the deal.
Mr Bosson seemed most excited about the educational component of the project, which would create opportunities for exchange programmes between the cities, and said Ho had eight tertiary institutions, which helped lay claim to the designation as an education hub.
The MoU expects to create sustainable environment to help meet basic and fundamental social needs, and facilitate economic strengthening and creating opportunities for businesses.
The MCE said the Municipality’s first sister city partnership, which was with Finland, would be reactivated.
Technocrats at the Assembly, including the Presiding Member, and the Municipal Engineer, all pledged support for the programme.
Gainsville is the principal city of the Gainesville metropolitan area and has a population of about 150,000.
It is home to the University of Florida -fourth largest by population in the US, and which is the main driver of the local economy.
The Ho Municipality has Ghana’s prime health university, the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), which is a decade old institution that ranks among the best in the subregion.
The regional capital is also said to be the oxygen city of Ghana, and the spirit and soul of tourism development in the endowed Volta Region. -GNA