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The OKI Sister Cities Coalition acts as a liaison between the office of the Mayor, City Hall and Cincinnati's Sister City
organizations, and is a resource for implementing programs and exchanges.
The International Sister City program, created by President
Eisenhower with a mission to promote mutual understanding, has expanded to include a full range of exchanges and benefits between two cities. An agreement signed by the Mayors of participating cities formalizes the relationship and although government is a sponsor, it is the citizens that benefit. Sister City relationships are strong exchanges built upon friendships which start with a cultural or educational base. That foundation helps develop links to economic development, tourism, arts and community development.
In the belief that developing partnerships with international
cities will benefit the citizens of Cincinnati, our local sister city program focuses on connecting people internationally to build cultural and economic bridges.
The City of Cincinnati partnered with its first Sister City,
Liuzhou, China, in 1988, and six other cities quickly followed.
By 1994, Cincinnati had seven international sister cities,
Liuzhou, China (1988); Gifu, Japan (1988); Kharkiv, Ukraine (1989); Munich, Germany (1989); Harare, Zimbabwe (1990); Nancy, France (1991); and Taipei-Hsien, Taiwan (1994). One is the capital of a country (Harare, Zimbabwe) and others are provincial capitals. All of the cities are important centers of culture, industry, and education and noted for their scenic landscapes or historic architecture.
Mayor Mark Mallory recently suspended Cincinnati's Sister City relationship with Harare in protest against the violence and election fraud that has been occurring so far in 2008, but the other Sister City relationships remain vibrant.
The Office of the Mayor, the City of Cincinnati, and the OKI
Sister City Coalition support Cincinnati's interaction with
these cities. Additionally, each Sister City has its own committee or association, which is directly responsible for the partnership by organizing its membership, budget, programs, activities, and visits. The Sister City committees and associations organize exchanges that include education, culture, science, commerce, and government.
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