MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

19 March 2015

ETHEKWINI ADVANCES ECONOMIC GROWTH WITH NEW SISTER CITY DOUALA IN CAMEROON

In an effort to broaden eThekwini Municipality’s footprint on the global market, a delegation led by Chief Whip Cllr Stanley Xulu is currently in the City of Douala, Cameroon, where both governments will sign a cooperative agreement today, 20/03/2015.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) will assist both cities through sharing of information on economic development, trade and investment promotion.

The Chief Whip is accompanied by, among others, Cllr Lindiwe Mhlongo-Ntaka, Cllr Bongani Gumede, Cllr Dumisani Ngema and International and Government Relations Africa Desk Manager Bongiwe Mkhize.

The visit to the City of Douala will also offer the eThekwini delegation insight of the Council structure of Cameroon’s economic city. Two representatives from the South African Department of Trade and Industries Lebohang Makoloi and Mncedisi Madela were part of the delegation to support the two cities in the signing of the MOA.

Similarities between the two cities were also discovered because the City of Douala is a port and coastal city and is also the economic hub for the central African country.

On Wednesday,18/03/2015, the eThekwini Municipality delegation was welcomed by Douala City Council Deputy Government Delegate Dieudonne Monthe who also gave them an overview of the city’s demographics, economic development strategies and challenges as a build up to the twinning of cities programme.

During a brief overview of the Municipality, Xulu said Durban is one of the biggest cities in KwaZulu-Natal and eThekwini is one of the few Metros in South Africa.

“Durban is also an economic hub for the province and it contributes enormously to the GDP of the country. We are here in Douala to form a strategic cooperation economically, culturally and enhance trade and investment opportunities between the two cities. I am without a doubt that both cities will reap great benefits from the agreement,” said Xulu.

Monthe said they value this kind of partnership with eThekwini.

“As the City of Douala, we would like to appreciate this partnership as these two cities have a lot in common. This partnership will help our country improve and we will learn as well as benefit from eThekwini Municipality,” he said.

Douala is the largest and considered to be the richest City in Cameroon as it generates 25 percent of the country’s GDP. The City has great national significance as the commercial capital as well as the fourth largest port on Africa’s Atlantic coast. The City’s growing rapidly and has become a commercial hub of the region. Like many African countries, the City faces development challenges including lack of infrastructure, inadequate low-cost housing, poverty and unemployment.

The cities of Durban and Douala have a long history as they were among the seven New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) cities selected to drive the NEPAD objectives at grassroots level. 

The NEPAD Cities Programme was an initiative by United Nations Habitat aimed at addressing rapid urbanisation and its consequences in order to make African cities more attractive for economic investment.

ENDS 

Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information contact Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820 or 082 731 7456 or email:thabo1.mofokeng@durban.gov.za or Gugu Mbonambi on 031 311 4855 or email:gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za