– Es gilt das gesprochene Wort –
Ceremonies upon the signing of the city twinning agreement between Würzburg and Mwanza (twinning established on 28.06.1966), 12.06.2013,
8.00 pm City Council chamber
Address of Lord Mayor
I am pleased to welcome you
also on behalf of Mayor colleague Dr. Adolf Bauer
• esteemed representatives of our twin town Mwanza, esteemed colleague, Honorary Mayor Mabula
• esteemed bishop John Ndimbo from the catholic diocese Mbinga
• attendees of the climate partnership workshop
• members of international associations
• members of the Würzburg City Council
• members of the press
• Ladies and Gentlemen.
Welcome to the festivities surrounding the renewal of the town twinning documentation between Mwanza and Würzburg. It is a great honour and privilege for us that you have travelled to our city to sign the town twinning agreement.
The town twinning between Würzburg and Mwanza has been in place for 47 years. In 2016, i.e. in three years’ time, we will be celebrating our 50-year anniversary of the town twinning of these two cities.
Let us take a brief look at the history of this town twinning.
The link between Mwanza and Würzburg had come about through the German Leprosy Relief Agency, which is headquartered in our city. However, after an optimistic beginning, in the seventies the town twinning went dormant for many years and was only revived in the nineties.
The Würzburg public had become active in the interim. The era of a “partnership by tiny steps” began. There were visits back and forth.
In August 1996, Würzburg sent the first waste vehicle to Mwanza, several others followed. This year there will also be one on the way.
Also in 1996 Mwanza inaugurated the “Würzburg Road” in its city centre.
More and more, schools in Würzburg and Mwanza began to exchange correspondence. City Councillor Benita Stolz and her family became involved.
They travelled to Mwanza with a group of teachers and, following their return to Würzburg, they implemented their idea of offering, on a broad basis in Würzburg, fair trade coffee from the Kilimanjaro region, which is one of the most important export products there in addition to the Victoria perch.
Travellers returned with enthusiastic reports regarding the spontaneity, musicality and tranquillity of the citizens of Mwanza. A further exchange of teachers, university students and schoolchildren was then suggested, not only in order to impart something of our education system to the citizens of Tanzania, but rather in order to learn from them, as well.
In 1998, the “Würzburger Partnerkaffee” association was formed, which now consists of twelve members all of whom are committed to partnering with Tanzania. The prices of fair trade coffee include a solidarity contribution to partnering and education projects in Tanzania.
In 2000, members of the public formed the M.W.A.N.Z.A Association, which promotes cooperative projects between Lower Franconian businesses and Mwanza businesses and supports projects in the realm of education, social affairs and the environment.
In April 2004, we inaugurated the “Mwanza Weg” in Würzburg, in the Heuchelhof district.
In May 2005, our Würzburg Missionsärztliches Institut and the Bugando Medical Centre in Mwanza signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” more precisely defining the terms of the partnering relations between the two hospitals. A regular exchange of experts takes place, and each year a delegation of Würzburg nursing students travels to Mwanza who then work for several weeks in Tanzania.
There are active exchanges also between the University of Würzburg Faculty of Medicine and the Medical College of Mwanza. Thus, for example, the University of Würzburg is expecting three medical students from Tanzania in August of this year.
The city’s Würzburg International office is in close contact with the Mwanza city management and promotes the exchange of specialist public administration staff and others. Thus, for example, we had a visit by Mwanzans at the Würzburg Professional Fire Brigade, where they received training in the use of fire-fighting equipment. The equipment was then donated to Mwanza.
And, in 2011, I personally visited Mwanza. I made valuable contacts there and witnessed the active partnering between the two cities. For example, I witnessed the launch of the Solar Lamp project, which is intended in future to make fishing in the region easier, and indeed even has the potential to revolutionise that industry.
That project, as many others, relies on the good networks of contacts between Germans and Tanzanians.
As many of you know, Würzburg is highly active on the German Federal Climate Partnership project.
The city administrations of Würzburg and Mwanza are collaborating on a strategic plan of action to effectively combat climate change locally and to create valuable synergies for this purpose. We are proud of the fact that the final workshop on this Federal project is currently taking place here in Würzburg, and I would once again like to welcome all of the participants.
I have heard it said that there is no word for “foreign” in Tanzania. A new arrival is either a guest or an enemy.
Guests are greeted with the word KARIBU, which means WELCOME, but the meaning is not merely welcome ‘to this place’, but rather it means ‘welcome into our hearts’. Hospitality and respect for others are, I am told, very important values in Tanzania.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my hope that the city twinning document being signed today will help to further cement the friendly relations not merely between our two cities, but between our two nations, as well.