Namibian, Canadian towns review partnership

Tecumseh and Tsumeb have focused their co-operation on areas of municipality and community involving activities such as volunteerism, business association, women and children in need, improvement of council administration and community relations, fire service administration, re-organisation, planning for waste management and planning for affordable housing.

The Mayor of Tsumeb, Mr Engel Nawatiseb, before leaving for Canada this week, expressed his satisfaction at the level of success achieved in all the areas of co-operation between the two cities.

“We have been progressively and actively involved since 1994 and both municipalities have benefited from these exchange programmes,” said Nawatiseb.

Nawatiseb would be in Tecumseh for the next two weeks where he is scheduled to hold several meetings with his Canadian counterpart, Mayor Gary McNamara. This follows an earlier visit this year by a Federation of Canadian Municipalities delegation to Tsumeb in April.

Tsumeb has a population of 20 000 and this year received a fire-fighting pumper truck worth N$1 million from Tecumseh. Nawatiseb said his municipality was now aiming at assisting neighbouring towns like Otavi from this exchange programme.

“Tecumseh has sent experts to train our people in fire-fighting skills and maintenance of municipal property. We also aim to train other municipalities within our vicinity,” he said.

Eino Haananga and town planner Nico Niewoudt accompanied Nawatiseb and the Namibians have on their agenda, new opportunities of promoting sustainable growth.

“We shall be looking at other possible and untapped areas of co-operation collectively; for instance, co-operative housing initiatives,” noted Nawatiseb, adding that Tsumeb had to adapt to the economic and social challenges posed in today’s world.

“Tecumseh is more advanced than us and despite the fact that we are still facilitating such relations, they are also learning from about us how to enhance relations between policy makers and administrators in policy formulation and implementation. So in the end it becomes a consolidated dichotomy for both municipalities.”

June 2006
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