Ludwigsburg, 18 to 20 November 2010. More than 130 delegates from municipalities, twinning associations, and governmental and non-governmental development organisations met in Ludwigsburg from 18 to 20 November 2010 to compare notes and share experiences at the first Germany-wide Conference on Municipal Partnerships with Africa. Participants included representatives of partnerships with municipalities in 17 African countries.
The guests from Africa, Oscar Sawadogo, chair of a non-governmental organisation form Burkina Faso, Chabi Nansounon, staff member of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) in Benin, und Jameleddine Batti, mayor of a city in Tunisia, each explained how important the decentralisation process is for democracy in their countries They described the municipal partnerships and exchange with experts in Europe as outstanding contributions to successful development cooperation. Dr Christiane Bögemann-Hagedorn of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development underlined the importance of municipal engagement in international cooperation in its own right, alongside the activities of Germany's federal and state governments. She particularly emphasised the good practice example of the three-way municipal partnerships between Germany, France and Burkina Faso. Delegates from the German federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg identified various ways in which partnerships at the state level can be used as a framework for inter-municipal relationships.