A twinning agreement between Francistown and the city of Bulawayo has been deemed beneficial as it can contribute to the economic development of both cities and promote cultural ties.
Speaking at a dinner in honour of the visiting Bulawayo delegate, Francistown mayor, Ms Sylvia Muzila said she was aware that the last world economic recession not only affected Zimbabwe but Botswana as well, and said this posed a threat on the economic standing and hindered some of the projects that the second city wanted to achieve.
However, she said by forming a strong bond between the two cities through constant and consistent interaction and by imitating successful projects from Bulawayo, Francistown would be able to move forward in terms of developments and vice versa.
She noted that Bulawayo has markets for fresh produce and pottery that do well, and she believed that if Francistown was to apply the same strategy, the city would be one step closer to achieving its Vision 2022 of being a city of all things precious.
By embarking on some of the projects that Bulawayo has, she said would not only attract investors to Francistown, but would also help address the issue of job creation.
Ms Muzila added that she hoped that the delegates have learnt something from projects such as the Tonota road construction which the city of Francistown was involved in.
For his part, the deputy mayor of Bulawayo, Mr Gift Banda said the trip had been an eye opener and he appreciated the time and commitment everyone had put in making them feel at home. The visit, he said, was fruitful as they went to Botswana Meat Commission and Nortex.
He said he observed that Botswana does not take for granted the issue of women empowerment as most of the sessions he had were led by women, and that was something that Bulawayo needs to act upon as well.
He also commended Botswana on the Ipelegeng initiative as it was a way of bettering the lives of people in the community and gives them reason and motivation to have something to look forward to.
He emphasised that Francistown has developed since his last visit to the city in 2002.
“I am amazed at the developments that have taken place in Francistown in such a short period of time.
The last time I came here there were only a few buildings,” he explained. Mr Banda highlighted that the two cities have a lot in common and that included the cities’ motto of emphasising peace and stability.
Because of the similarities Bulawayo and Francistown has, by twinning, the two would be able to transfer skills, expertise and knowledge, he said.
Source : BOPA