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Regional News of Wednesday, 31 December 2003

Source: GNA

Tamale establishes links with sister city in Burkina-Faso

Tamale, Dec 31, GNA- The Tamale Metropolitan Assembly on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Fada N'Gourma, a sister city in Burkina Faso, aimed at exploring and promoting trade and business between Ghana and Burkina Faso.

Fada N'Gourma is one of the biggest cities in Burkina-Faso, with roads linking Ghana, Benin and Togo and is rich in cattle and cotton production.

Some 99 delegates from some communities in the city including sub chiefs came from Fada N'Gourma for the signing ceremony in Tamale. Mr. Iddrisu Adam, Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive, stressed the importance of the relationship between the two cities describing it as "historic and a re-union between two families."

He expressed the hope that the signing of the memorandum would link and strengthen economic, social, cultural and political ties between the two cities.

Mr Adam said the relationship between the two cities dated back to the 18th century and that the signing of the memorandum was made possible through the efforts of Mr. Osseini Baadhio, a citizen of Fada N'Gourma. He assured the Burkinabe guests that some citizens from Tamale would undertake a reciprocal visit to N'Gourma soon to further strengthen the relationship and to conclude the official and final recognition of the two cities.

Mr Iddrisa Tandanba, Mayor of Fada N'Gourma, said the city was founded about 300 years ago and that it had developed rapidly. Mr Tandanba called on the authorities from both parties to explore business avenues and strive to address problems that would divide them. Mr. Charles Bintim, the Deputy Northern Regional Minister, said there was the need to focus on socio-economic development to improve the lives of the people as a means of strengthening and sustaining the sister cities relationship.

He appealed to both cities to examine their economic potentials and engage in bilateral trade talks on areas where each would have comparative advantage.

Mr Bintim urged the two sides to work towards enhancing the ECOWAS protocols, which provide for the free movement of persons, goods and services within West African.

Alhaji Mustapha Ali Iddris, the Minister of Works and Housing, advised the cities to institute an exchange programme between students from both countries to enable them to learn English and French to further strengthen the relationship.

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