Port of Spain Mayor calls on Accra Mayor


    Accra Mayor Alfred Oko Vanderpuije on Thursday said although challenges of the Metropolis were enormous, they spurred him on to make Accra one of the finest cities in Africa.
    He pledged the commitment of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to bring development to the doorsteps of the people and “make them live in and love it”.
    Mr Vanderpuije made the pledge when Mr Louis Lee-sing, Mayor of Port of Spain, capital of Trinidad and Tobago paid a courtesy call on him in Accra.
    They later toured some areas within the Metropolis to enable Mr Lee-sing to acquaint himself with the challenges and opportunities in the city.
    He expressed the hope that the visit would forge an alliance and help to learn from each other to develop their cities.
    The Accra Mayor briefed Mr Lee-sing about Accra’s status as a Millennium City, an initiative to forge partnership to accelerate efforts towards sustainable economic development.
    The Millennium City Initiative is a project being undertaken by the Earth Institute, a research and education centre at Columbia University, USA, to assist 11 selected Sub-Saharan cities, to design effective viable strategies to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
    Mr Vanderpuije said some personnel from AMA would reciprocate the visit and sign a Memorandum of Understanding for a sister city relationship between Accra and the Port of Spain.
    Giving a brief on his country, Mr Lee-sing said the country covered 5,128 square kilometers (1,980 sq miles) and made up of two islands, Trinidad and Tobago with an estimated population of about 1.3 million.
    He said the country had a sound macroeconomic framework and long tradition of institutional stability since 1956, had 38 radio stations and seven television stations in addition to a high literate society.
    Mr Lee-sing said the Government’s performance had been to diversify the economic base, making the country a key financial centre in the Caribbean, but cautious with development partners, especially with its oil find.
    He said the country had advanced in technology and efforts were being made to rid the Port of Spain of street dwellers, detaining and prosecuting them and noted that about 70 per cent of them were drug addicts.
    Mr Lee-sing said some of the challenges being faced were sanitation and the proliferation of drinking spots in residential areas.
    Trinidad and Tobago was a Spanish colony from the time of Christopher Columbus up to 1802, when she was ceded to Britain.
    She gained independence in 1962 and became a Republic in 1976.