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SISTER CITIES: Mayor Bynum signs partnership with 9th city

Mayor Bynum in Mwanza.jpg
Posted at 11:04 AM, Jun 04, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — Mwanza, Tanzania, is officially Tulsa's 9th sister city.

Mayor GT Bynum visited the African country to formalize the partnership and formalize the memorandum of understanding.

Mayor Bynum and Mayor Sima

"Mwanza is a city with wonderful people, tremendous opportunities, and serves as the front door to Serengeti National Park - one of the great natural wonders of the world," Bynum said in a Facebook post. "It is also home to Mainsprings, a remarkable organization led by Tulsans in partnership with local Tanzanians that is transforming the lives of Tanzanian girls while also providing advanced education for children from surrounding villages."

Mayor Bynum in Mwanza 1

Mayor Bynum said he visited Mwanza twice in the last year. Mwanza is the second
largest city in Tanzania. It's also known as the "City of Rocks" for it's landscape of granite rocks that give it a unique look.

The partnership isn't just for show. Mwanza has ties to Tulsa through the local nonprofit Mainsprings, which brought the city to Tulsa's attention. Over the past several decades, numerous Tulsans visited the city and made ties to the region.

“My path to Tanzania started when I stood up on my Kindergarten career day at Eliot here in Tulsa, and eventually went to the city of Mwanza in 2002,” Mainsprings founder Chris Gates said. “Mainsprings has grown from so much support here in Tulsa, and we have had hundreds of citizens from here visit Mwanza, Tanzania, over the years. I am personally honored that this Sister City partnership is connecting these two cities I call home to collectively strengthen our own understanding of the world we live in and further the development of these cities for the betterment of our citizens.”

Tulsa's sister cities are:

  • Amiens, France
  • Beihai, China
  • Celle, Germany
  • Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  • San Luis Potosi, Mexico
  • Tiberias, Israel
  • Ustunomiya, Japan
  • Zelenograd, Russia

Former President Eisenhower created Sister Cities International in 1956. It now serves 545 U.S. sister cities, counties and states with 2,121 partnerships in 145 countries.
More on Tulsa's sister city program here.

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