History of the association
The foundation of the association “Partnerschaft Bremen-Durban e.V.” was preceded by a long history of political and social involvement in Bremen. Women against Apartheid, the fruit boycott, the commitment of the Bremen AntiApartheid Movement against military colloboration, the Sowetotag 1986, Aktion Bundesschluss gegen Zwangsumsiedlung and the connections of forum church to Durban, to name just a few examples.
In view of a future town twinning, Hildegard Lenz was commissioned by Mayor Dr. Henning Scherf to prepare the Bremen-Durban town twinning. In three contact trips in 1998 and 1999 she established connections and prepared possible cooperation for the future town twinning.
In order to achieve a long-lasting town twinning, Henning Scherf’s intention was that the Bremen-Durban connection should be supported by civil society. This approach and the great commitment of individuals led to the founding of the association in 1999 with participants from the church, sports, economy, culture and politics and youth work. In 2011, the town twinning was officially sealed in Bremen’s town hall.
The principle of the association is, then as now, to learn from each other!
The long-standing city friendship between Bremen and Durban was formalized into an official city partnership in September 2011.
The Senate Chancellery supports the network activities of the association from the side of the city administration. It supports networking between the different stakeholders in Bremen. Furthermore, Bremen supports projects in the fields of development cooperation, art, culture, inclusion, etc. There is close cooperation with the “Association Bremen – Durban e.V.” and its numerous civil society actors, e.g. in the context of the One Nation Cup or the Night of the Youth in Bremen, in which a Durban youth group always participates. Furthermore, important political and economic contacts with our twin city are maintained. Thus there are regular delegation trips to Durban by members of the Bremen Senate and by official representatives from Durban to the Hanseatic City.
Since 2008 the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen has been a cooperation partner of the Partnerschaft Bremen – Durban e.V.
Silke Goethe, Development Cooperation Officer, Senate Chancellery, Free Hanseatic City of Bremen
Gregor Spanke, Town Twinning and International Affairs, Senate Chancellery, Free Hanseatic City of Bremen