|City-to-city arrangements are already in place with five sister cities – Addis Ababa; Windhoek; Birmingham; London, in the United Kingdom; and New York, in the United States. Described by Wilkinson as "twin cities of Johannesburg", these arrangements are focussed on creating co-operative relationships "for the mutual benefit of the contracting parties and the communities they represent".|
The co-operative agreements can be as far-reaching as looking at best practice municipal models aimed at improving service delivery, to projects related to youth activities and interests. In 2005, 12 children from disadvantaged areas of Johannesburg took part in a youth-exchange programme between Johannesburg and Birmingham, the second biggest city in the United Kingdom.
"The children had the opportunity to travel abroad and share their unique experiences with their peers, thereby broadening their horizons and giving them different ways of engagement," Wilkinson explains.
"The twin city agreements are people-focussed projects, removed from politics to people-based needs."
Other city partnerships that are being developed are with Matola, in Mozambique; Accra, in Ghana; Val de Marne, in France; and Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. "The mayor has also expressed the wish to formalise relationships with Lusaka [in Zambia] and one city [each] in India and China."