Delegation for 20 years of friendship

The city partnership between Aachen and Cape Town has grown over 20 years as the so-called Agenda 21 partnership and has now been officially sealed. With Lord Mayor Marcel Philipp, a large group of Aachen representatives from politics, business, education, culture, university and administration travelled to Cape Town in March – and Dialego was also there.

The Aachen delegation at the opening of the “Aachen Garden” in Cape Town. Photo: City of Aachen/Sven Pennings

In focus: Sustainability

For us, the cooperation is relevant from several perspectives: First and foremost, it supports our daily efforts to help design meaningful products and services. In an emerging country like South Africa, the needs of the people are sometimes quite obvious, it was impressive to experience this on the ground. Although Cape Town has one of the most prestigious universities on the African continent, it enjoys many tourists and is surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Enormous income disparities and poverty, however, are causing unrest, and the city is struggling with water shortages and, most recently, power outages caused by outdated infrastructure. In the spirit of the people of Cape Town and our global responsibility, it is a matter close to our hearts to be able to make a sustainable and concrete contribution to solutions here.

This also happened as you would have expected from Dialego: through exchange at eye level. And the objective of working together to develop very concrete, effective and useful paths for the future of people. At the same time, Lord Mayor Dan Plato introduced us to successfully implemented projects such as a major campaign to reduce water consumption or the construction of a kindergarten from 100 percent recycled materials – projects from which we can also transfer some experience to Aachen. Together, the delegation also visited SANCCOB, an institution that has been dedicated to the rescue of seabirds for years and is also cooperating with the Aachener Tierpark. Together, they are pursuing smart fundraising for their project to conserve biodiversity.

In focus: Future


During numerous visits and intensive discussions, we explored many possibilities for future cooperation between the cities. Together with our partners in Cape Town, we were able to initiate university cooperations in robotics, initiate an exchange on sustainably produced agricultural products and school projects, and discuss other progressive research and technology topics that all contribute to Agenda 21 and thus fundamentally improve the lives of local people.


It is an important milestone that we were able to reach together in Cape Town. On sitem we were able to see that we can rely on a multitude of positive common themes.

Marcel Philipp, Mayor of  the City of Aachen

The city partnership has always focused on sustainability and future-compatible action in everyday life; a number of joint projects have already been initiated over the past 20 years. More than 30 projects are now being explored by the initiative. In some of them we want to get actively involved with Dialego – and we are very much looking forward to that.

Many thanks to the hospitality of our friends in Cape Town!

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