Minneapolis becomes first U.S. city to establish a sister city connection in Somalia

Minneapolis becomes first U.S. city to establish a sister city connection in Somalia

Oct. 17, 2014 (MINNEAPOLIS) Today, the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Betsy Hodges unanimously approved a resolution to establish a sister city relationship with Bosaso, Somalia.  Minneapolis is now the first city in the United States to have established such a connection within Somalia.

“This is a great day for Minneapolis and Bosaso,” said Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges. “Minneapolis has the largest population of Somali immigrants in the U.S. who contribute greatly to life and the economy in this city. Through this official relationship established today, we’re paving the way for more exchanges of information and increased economic and educational opportunities that will benefit both cities for years to come.”

“We have a great relationship with Somali community and today that relationship grows stronger both here and in Bosaso,” said Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden. “I look forward to exchanging ideas and participating in opportunities that will help both Minneapolis and Bosaso grow and thrive.”

“I’m proud of Minneapolis for making history; and I’m hopeful that this new relationship would positively impact perceptions, cultural understanding and our capacity to serve our residents,” said Council Member Abdi Warsame. “The mass community engagement and the narrative created around the formation of this exclusive connection have touched so many, thousands of miles apart.”

Bosaso is the third largest city in Somalia and a thriving commercial center, located on the southern coast of the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

Relationship benefits both cities
The Minneapolis/Bosaso sister city relationship will offer benefits to both cities while working to promote cultural understanding and stimulate economic development in both cities. The relationship will also be designed to establish mutual exchanges of information around city governance, public infrastructure, and environmentally sustainable practices, which is a growing concern in the Bosaso area. The Minneapolis Friends of Bosaso committee plans to work on a number of projects related to economic development and educational/cultural exchanges to ensure this relationship is a successful one. The types of projects that could be implemented could include:

  • Hosting business forums with local businesses
  • Fundraising to send books to Bosaso
  • Student exchanges, including letter/email writing between grade school students in Minneapolis and Bosaso
  • Official visits in Minneapolis and Bosaso

The City of Minneapolis recognizes "sister city" friendships with 11 cities abroad. These relationships are supported and implemented by community groups here in Minneapolis whose members organize exchanges and other activities. They have also been accredited by Sister Cities, International, in Washington D.C.