Düsseldorf, 4 February 2020. Dr Mark Speich, NRW State Secretary for Federal, European and International Affairs, opened the conference and presented the new component for the partnership between NRW and Ghana: 'Many of the decisions that will determine whether or not we manage to implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda will be taken at the local level. For municipalities too, sustainable action is becoming increasingly important.' This is why it makes sense to add local governance exchange to the cooperation between Ghana and NRW that has existed at national/federal state and civil society level since 2007. 'We are convinced that the exchange between municipalities in Ghana and NRW will be a key factor in taking our partnership in new directions', said State Secretary Speich.
Stefan Wilhelmy, Division Manager of the Service Agency Communities in One World, also welcomed the mandate from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. He drew attention to the potential created by a multi-level partnership of this kind to which the federal state, the municipalities and civil society can all make a huge contribution. Dr Wilhelmy also said he was particularly pleased about the new close cooperation with the State Chancellery, adding that the dynamic development of municipal development cooperation since 2010, and the increasingly broad range of support provided by the Service Agency, were also largely thanks to the State Chancellery.
After that the participants briefly introduced themselves and described their professional and personal links with Ghana. Alongside the State Chancellery and the Service Agency, participants included delegates from civil society, the Association of German Cities and eight municipalities in NRW.