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The mayors of Tema and Aarhus:  We have so much in common and so much to gain from cooperating

In June 2019, a strong delegation of the city of Tema and Ghana Water visited the Danish city of Aarhus to seek inspiration on how to create efficient and sustainable water management in Tema.

“Our two cities have so much in common. We are about the same size and we both have large ports, so it makes a lot of sense to cooperate,” the mayor of Aarhus, Jacob Bundsgaard, and his counterpart from Tema, Felix Mensah Nii Anang-La, agreed after having signed an official memorandum of understanding to formalize their strategic water sector cooperation in the City Hall of Aarhus.

But they also agreed that the cooperation makes sense, because there are also a lot of differences between Aarhus and Tema:

“We have a serious problem with wastewater in particular”, said Felix Mensah Nii Anang-La. “Our lakes and our lagoons are highly polluted due to lack of efficient wastewater treatment. But if you look at the rivers and the lakes and the lagoons in Aarhus, you don’t see any water highly polluted, because there is an efficient wastewater treatment in place. This is one of the areas where we are looking for ideas and inspiration on this visit to Aarhus and in our future cooperation. So we are very grateful to be here to sign such a memorandum of understanding and knowing that any time we lack ideas, we can consult this municipality for advice and for direction, and we think it will go a long way to help the city of Tema.”

What is in it for Aarhus?
Jacob Bundsgaard on his side said that he was happy to share his city’s competencies and knowhow to improve the water supply and wastewater management in Tema. And he added that Aarhus also stands to gain from the cooperation:

“Tema is a city on the move. They have a big harbor. They are the gateway to Ghana and to the rest of Africa. We can use Tema as a steppingstone to cooperation with other countries in Africa, and that also holds an interesting potential for private companies in Aarhus and the region.”

Visits to plants and private companies
The visit of the Ghanaian delegation to Aarhus lasted from the 17th to 20th of June. The 18 of June, the delegation visited a state-of-the-art sewage water treatment plant and a modern water treatment plant in Aarhus. The 19, the delegation visited local Danish companies which produce world class technology for the water sector: Grundfos, AVK and Kamstrup.  

The visit by the delegation from the city of Tema and Ghana Water to their partners in Aarhus, Aarhus municipality and Aarhus Vand, forms part of the Strategic Sector Cooperation supported by Danida and facilitated by the Embassy of Denmark in Accra.