LOULÉ IS celebrating its official twinning with Benguela, a city in Angola, 17 years after the idea was first proposed. The union will bring about an exchange of social, cultural, educational, touristic and economic information, with the hope that the data will improve both cities’ economies. This was one of the principal aims of the agreement, in order that, together, new tailor made economic initiatives can be introduced to benefit the communities. Among the main areas of interest are the workings of each other’s agricultural economies and how it affects their respective commercial and industrial sectors.
Council chiefs in Benguela and Loulé are planning to implement specific programmes for municipal administration with technical and logistic support, through the introduction of staff in areas such as public administration and human resources. The aim is to share ideas and learn from each other’s experiences, in terms of which programmes have been successful on a local government scale.
Many of the new initiatives will target young people in schools, during term time as well as during the holidays. The intention is to host art exhibitions, with the hope that this will involve the students and the local community as a whole. The exhibitions could help spark new and original ideas, drawing from different backgrounds and experiences.
It has been 17 years since the idea of twinning the two cities was first suggested, and. the time lapse is due, in part, to the labyrinth of the socio-political problems in Angola. Benguela is situated in a province of the same name, and is one of the main cities in Angola. It has a population of 450,000 and is located in the heart of the south of the country. As the people of these two cities are able to communicate in the same language, it will be expeditious and effortless to develop a brand new zeitgeist for the future.