On Monday, November 30, 2015, in the King Arts Complex Historic Pythian Theater, Mayor Michael B. Coleman will join Accra Mayor Alfred O. Vanderpuije as well as local Ghanaian community leaders, Columbus City Council, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, and members of the Columbus community to officially declare Accra, Ghana as Columbus’ newest sister city—and its first on the African continent. In line with GCSCI’s mission to create economic, educational, cultural, and environmental opportunities through relationship building, this partnership will serve to foster a deeper connection between the two cities. “As the first African-American mayor of Columbus, I couldn’t leave this spot without having a city in Africa,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman.
With thousands of Ghanaians calling Columbus home, important community ties with the Accra region have already been established. Greater Columbus is committed to celebrating its African community as well as fostering a connection between the Black Diaspora and the African continent.
Accra, Ghana was chosen as a potential sister city for Columbus after a year-long search process from a volunteer committee. The committee looked for strong similarities between Columbus and the finalist cities, and ultimately chose Accra as a result of strong connections in education, green business initiatives, arts & culture, as well as economic opportunities in technology, security and health. With strong university exchanges already in place, these connections, along with Columbus’ large Ghanaian population, helped make Columbus and Accra an ideal match. Since Accra’s acceptance to become sister cities with Columbus last year, important ties have already been established between the two cities.
The Accra-Columbus Sister City Committee was formed and already has raised $5000 for Accra programs. The King Arts Complex is seeking to form a “sister institution” relationship with the Ghana National Theatre. Franklin University has formed a partnership with the Laweh Open University, offering its students online degrees. Long standing exchanges with the Ohio State University include the Ghana Sustainable Change Program, as well as exchanges through the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science and the Agricultural Technical Institute.