The first encounter between Hannover and Blantyre, which led to an official twinning of the cities in 1968, had it’s 50th anniversary in March 2012. The initiator was Dr. Lore Henkel, who was a counceller back then.
On this occasion, the Agenda 21 office and the Cultural office invited the Chief Executive Officer of Blantyre, Ted Nandolo, the Head of the Department of Environment, Culture and Leisure, Sylvester Mitini-Nkhoma, and Mattihas Seeler from the GIZ, who currently is in Blantyre, to visit Hannover from March 12th – 16th in which a varied program was prepared for the delegation.
The visit to the fair trade organization El Puente in Hildesheim served to mutually exchange information and explore opportunities to import fair trade products from Malawi to Europe. The head of the Polish Fairtrade Association (a partner in the project „aware&fair“) also traveled from Warsaw to attend this meeting.
Further items on the agenda were
- A visit to the fire brigade
- A visit to the waste management company
- A visit to the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources.
- Conversations with the head of Economic and Environmental Directorate, Hans Mönninghoff and the head of Arts and Education Directorate, Marlis Drevermann
The highlight of the gathering was the exhibition „Encounters – 50 years of city partnership Hannover – Blantyre“, which was opened on March 15th by mayor Bernd Strauch in the New Town Hall of Hannover. The guests were also invited to join the Agenda 21 plenum, which was entirely devoted to the city-twinning.
At the close of the visit, the guests were welcomed by the Lord Mayor Stephan Weil, where both sides expressed a wish for stronger future cooperation.