Cleveland, Ohio Adds New African Sister Cities Relationships

The City of Cleveland signed resolutions to add three new African sister cities relationships in December 2023.

The team at Global Cleveland has been instrumental in strengthening and nourishing Cleveland’s sister city relationships and acted as the catalyst for the new sister city proposals, working closely with partners to forge connections with each of the proposed African sister cities.

Cleveland’s newest sister cities include Tema, Ghana; Kigali, Rwanda; and Cape Town, South Africa.

What Are Sister Cities?

Resolutions declaring the new sister cities relationships to the City of Cleveland.

Sister Cities International was created by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 as a way to foster bonds between U.S. communities and different people around the world. In the wake of WWII, it was envisioned that sister cities relationships would help build cross-cultural understanding and mutual respect that would lessen the chance of future conflicts.

Sister city relationships are formed when two locations enter into a legal or social agreement that is designed to create commercial and cultural ties.

Meet Cleveland's New Sister City: Tema, Ghana

Crystal Bryant, assistant vice president of corporate responsibility at KeyBank; William Gary, executive vice president at Cuyahoga Community College; and Kwame Botchway, director of community impact & innovation at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, helped Global Cleveland establish connections with Tema, Ghana.

Joined by William Gary and Kwame Botchway, Global Cleveland presented a resolution to the Cleveland City Council to add Tema, Ghana as a sister city to Cleveland. Every member of the council volunteered to co-sponsor the resolution.

Tema has great potential for collaboration with Cleveland in terms of business and port operation. It is located on the Bay of Benin (a bight on the Gulf of Guinea) and the Atlantic coast of Ghana. Tema is known as the “Harbour City” thanks to its status as the largest seaport in the country, making it a major center for trade.

Meet Cleveland's New Sister City: Kigali, Rwanda

By GATETE Pacifique - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Entrepreneur Brian Hall and Rwandan businessman Emery Rubagenda aided in establishing Cleveland’s connections with Kigali, Rwanda.

Kigali, Rwanda is the largest city and capital of Rwanda. Located in the center of the country, Kigali is an economic, cultural, and transportation hub. Much of the city’s GDP is contributed by the service sector (retail, information technology, transport and hotels, and real estate) and agriculture, with growing contributions from tourism. It is the largest business center of Rwanda, and the main point of entry into the country.

Meet Cleveland's New Sister City: Cape Town, South Africa

By Ranjithsiji - This file has been extracted from another file, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Cape Town, South Africa’s sports industry and the potential for collaboration with Cleveland was of great interest to Kevin Clayton, chief of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Clayton helped Global Cleveland enter talks with Cape Town.

Cape Town is the capital and oldest city in South Africa. Located on a peninsula and with a long coastline on the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Town is known for its harbor and trade. The modern, cosmopolitan city-life, as well as Cape Town’s proximity to Table Mountain and beautiful beaches have made it a popular tourist destination.