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History and Development

First contact was made in 1998 when Welthaus in Aachen initiated a North-South Partnership with the Khayelitsha Education Resource and Information Centre (KERIC) in the context of the Agenda 21 process. The cooperation between the two centres for education, environment and community development was called Khayelitsha-Aachen Partnership (KAP) and promoted a better future through working together.

In 1999 a need was identified to expand the partnership to include the municipalities and other NGOs. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was drafted and first signed in Aachen on 28 June 2000 by Welthaus, KERIC, some other NGOs, the City of Aachen and the former City of Tygerberg.

During 2000 the former City of Tygerberg was amalgamated with the greater City of Cape Town, also referred to as the Unicity with approximately 3.1 million inhabitants, while Aachen had only 240.000. Over time the Partnership expanded to include more organisations and established formal structures for project implementation and co-ordination. During June 2002 a delegation from Cape Town visited Aachen and the need to extend the Partnership to the then Unicity was highlighted.

During March 2003 a delegation from Aachen visited Cape Town and a formal letter of intent was signed by both cities and NGO-members of the Steering Committee as an indication towards renewing the MoU. In June 2004 the second Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Aachen by the city representatives of Aachen and Cape Town, as well as civil society representatives from the Steering Committee. In 2007 the MoU was changed to a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA). It has been renewed in 2012 to adjust the work areas of the Partnership to new developments. The actual MoA was signed in 2017 and the Partnership was lifted to an Official Twinning City Partnership based on the principles of the Agenda 21 and SDG.

Here you can read the actual Memorandum of Agreement: