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SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 27, 2016) – A few signatures made it official. Yesterday, on Oct. 26, 2016, Mayor Ivy R. Taylor and Mayor Muesee Kazapua signed a Sister City Agreement between their respective cities – San Antonio and Windhoek, Namibia. Joining them for the ceremony was Martin Andjaba, Ambassador of the Republic of Namibia to the U.S., Thomas Daughton, U.S. Ambassador, and representatives from both cities, including San Antonio City Councilmen Alan Warrick (D2) and Ray Lopez (D6). Photos of the ceremony and gift exchange can be found at www.facebook.com/IvyRTaylorSA/.
“The signing was such a momentous occasion,” Mayor Taylor said. “Not only did it mark our 10th such MOU, but it was our first with an African city. Windhoek is home to nearly all Namibian corporate headquarters, governmental bodies, and educational and cultural institutions. It is my hope that this Trade Mission will lead to great partnerships and business ventures.”
Friendly exchanges between San Antonio and Namibia date back to the early 1990s, including annual visits from the Namibian ambassadors for the past decade. The President of the Republic of Namibia, Dr. Hage Geingob, visited the Alamo City last year to encourage trade, investment and tourism.
Namibia is one of Africa’s most stable countries, with a robust economy and multi-party democracy. It is also the first country in the world to incorporate the protection of the environment into its constitution, and Windhoek is the only city on the African continent that recycles water. Windhoek has approximately 230,000 inhabitants, making up more than 12 percent of the country's total population of 1.8 million.
Beyond Windhoek, San Antonio has nine other official Sister City relationships: Monterrey, Mexico; Guadalajara, Mexico; Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain; Gwangju, South Korea; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain; Kumamoto, Japan; Chennai, India; and Wuxi, China. Friendship Cities include Suzhou, China; Tel Aviv, Israel; and Darmstadt, Germany.
Namibia became one of San Antonio’s Friendship Cities in 2015. Tel Aviv, Israel and Suzhou, China remain Friendship Cities.