The city of Indianapolis has established its first Sister City relationship with an African country. The city’s Office of International and Latino Affairs has developed the relationship with Onitsha, Nigeria, marking the ninth Sister City for Indy.
Indianapolis City-County Councilor Vop Osili, who helped foster the relationship with the Nigerian city, says connecting Indianapolis to the African continent "forges new economic and cultural linkages and has the potential to create dynamic new economic development opportunities in Indianapolis and in sub-Saharan Africa."
The city says Onitsha has a similar commitment to efforts as Indianapolis, including economic and workforce development, renewable energy, environmental preservation, growth of the tech sector and promotion of cultural assets and tradition.
Mayor Joe Hogsett, members of the City-County Council, and other community leaders met Friday with His Majesty Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha. The Obi is a position recognized by the state and federal governments of Nigeria and Achebe serves as a global leader on corporate, diplomatic and environmental issues in sub-Saharan Africa, according to Hogsett’s office.
"As Indianapolis continues to grow and expand its role in the global economy, partnering with a diverse portfolio of cities around the world will be vital to our future success," said Hogsett. "And it’s no coincidence that we, the Crossroads of America, have connected with Onitsha, which is considered the commercial crossroads of Nigeria. Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa and possesses the continent’s second largest economy."