Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 3, 2017
Mayor Kasim Reed Leads Cooperation Mission to Cape Town, South Africa
ATLANTA – The City of Atlanta announced today that Mayor Kasim Reed will visit Cape Town, South Africa this week for a wide-ranging mission focused on boosting entrepreneurship, resiliency and the arts and entertainment industries. This trip follows Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille’s visit to City Hall in October 2016 to sign a letter of intent with Mayor Reed to further cooperation between Atlanta and Cape Town and establish these cities as the primary gateway for U.S.-African relations.
“Cape Town is a strategically important international partner for the City of Atlanta,” Mayor Reed said. “Our cities share the same growing entertainment and entrepreneurial industries and face the same issues surrounding urban development. We also share an important legacy in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the City of Atlanta’s influence on South Africa’s struggle for freedom from apartheid. Atlanta welcomes the opportunity to build on this legacy to create robust, global economies for both our cities as well as to promote cross-continental exchanges and friendship.”
Cape Town has been selected to establish the first-of-its-kind academy on the African continent to promote U.S.-Africa partnerships. Scheduled to open in 2018, the Academy will be comprised of three centers, which will focus on the study and public understanding of the United States; urban development; and creative and music industry studies. The City of Atlanta was identified as a primary partner on this initiative, formalized through the October 7, 2016 letter of intent.
Mayor Reed and Mayor De Lille will participate in a panel discussion entitled ‘Empowered Cities: an Atlanta/Cape Town Dialogue,’ at the American Corner. The panel will be open to local press. Mayor Reed will also meet with U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Jessye Lapenn, and U.S. Consul General Teddy B. Taylor.
Over the course of the three day visit, Mayor Reed will tour small-business incubators and film studios, including the Bandwidth Barn, Snake Nation and the Cape Town Film Studio. Mayor Reed will also tour Cape Town’s public urban garden and visit multiple sustainable enterprises, and will discuss regulatory issues, as well as the two cities’ efforts to strengthen resiliency and promote resilient business and infrastructure.
Since entering office, Mayor Reed has continued Ambassador Andrew Young’s efforts to strengthen Atlanta’s relationship with the African continent. In the last three years alone, the City of Atlanta has welcomed numerous African delegations and hosted 125 delegates as part of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. Mayor Reed also traveled to Johannesburg with Ambassador Young in March 2016 to explore Atlanta’s rooted connections in South Africa and promote business and trade between Atlanta and Johannesburg.
The metropolitan Atlanta region and the State of Georgia have extensive business ties to South Africa. Currently, at least 20 Georgia companies have operations in South Africa including The Coca-Cola Company and UPS, and at least seven South African facilities are operating in the Metropolitan Atlanta region. In 2016, Georgia exported $129.5 million in goods and services to South Africa.
For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit http://www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @CityofAtlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed