Sister Cities Winston-Salem

President Sirleaf of Liberia visited Winston-Salem on September 24, 2016 ||  video of program || photos

Winston-Salem has five formal Sister Cities partnerships, Ungheni, Moldova; Kumasi, Ghana; Nassau, Bahamas; Shanghai - Yang Pu District, China and Buchanan, Liberia, under the auspices of Sister Cities International, an independent, non-profit association dedicated to creating and strengthening partnerships between U.S. and international communities in order to increase global cooperation, promote cultural understanding and stimulate economic development.

Winston-Salem is uniquely gifted to offer the perfect combination of Southern Hospitality, Artistic Creativity, and Economic Vitality.

For information on living in our beautiful city please see the Discover Winston-Salem web page on this site, and see the Winston-Salem Visitors Bureau's Visit Winston-Salem web site.

For information on doing business in our City please see the Business web page on this web site, and visit the Winston-Salem Business Inc. web site.

President Sirleaf of Liberia visited Winston-Salem in September 2016.

President Sirleaf visit

President Sirleaf visit

President Sirleaf visit

Liberia - Liberian Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Jeremiah C. Sulunteh, visited Winston-Salem and met with the Mayor on May 31, 2013. Liberia and Winston-Salem share a long and important history.


Ambassador Sulunteh, Mayor Joines and Sister Cities Board Members

Moldovan Government Officials Visit Winston-Salem via the "Friendship Force" program.
Friendship Force International is a non-profit exchange organization dedicated to the ideal that each person can make a contribution to global goodwill.

Members of the delegation met with Mayor Joines on September 21, 2012.

Shanghai Public Health Officials Visit July 20, 2012: Meeting with the Honorable Mayor Allen Joines

Mayor and Health Officials

Shanghai, Yang Pu District Physician Exchange:

Doctors from China

Winston-Salem Sister Cities is hosted a group of six Shanghai doctors who were participating in further training as guests at Wake Forest University Medical Center.

Students from the Ungheni Art Academy

Students from the Ungheni Art Academy enter works of art each year for the Young Artist Showcase and Exhibit.

Read more about Sister Cities International Programs for Youth.

Sister Cities World Exchange offers for sale art and crafts made by artisans from our four Sister Cities. The proceeds from the sale of artwork will go directly towards the artists and other Sister Cities programs. The World Exchange is open by appointment only and is located at 420 N. Cherry Street between 4th Street and 5th Street in downtown Winston-Salem, adjacent to the Embassy Suites hotel. For information call Steven Harrison at (336) 747-7474.

Children from Moldova in Native Dress

Sister City programs inherently involve a unique partnership that involves all three sectors of a community: the local government, business, and private voluntary sectors (service/ non-profit organizations or citizen volunteers). Sister City programs, perhaps more than any other international program, involve the widest possible diversity of projects. Sister City projects can involve any topic of mutual interest, such as health care, arts, education, economic development, public safety, municipal administration and anything else. Sister Cities Winston-Salem was established in 1998 and oversees Sister City relationships with Ungheni, Moldova; Kumasi, Ghana; Nassau, Bahamas; and Shanghai, China. Activities are coordinated by a Sister Cities Board of 21 members. The Board meets the first Wednesday of every month. Staff support for the Board is provided by the City of Winston-Salem Development Office (Steven Harrison (336) 747-7474).

Winston-Salem's Sister Cities

Ungheni, Moldova

Map of MoldovaThe cities of Winston-Salem and Ungheni, Moldova, agreed to be Sister Cities in the summer of 2000. Their partnership encompasses economic, cultural, and educational goals that will benefit both cities.

Ungheni, population 43,000, is near the western border with Romania. The region's economy is based on agriculture and textiles. It has a beautiful carpet-making industry dating back centuries. Today, the grape industry is an important component of Ugheni's rapidly growing wine industry.

Moldova (mole-DOH-vah) lies between Romania and the Ukraine in Eastern Europe. It has a population of about 4.5 million people in an area slightly larger than Maryland. It is an agrarian country of rolling countryside.

Kumasi, Ghana Map of Ghana

Winston-Salem and Kumasi, Ghana, formalized their Sister City relationship in July 2001. Their partnership calls for cooperation in the arts, education, business and cultural fields. Ghana is a country slightly smaller than Oregon, situated on the Gulf of Guinea on the west coast of Africa. It is home to 19.9 million people.

Kumasi, population 2.5 million, is the capital of the Ashanti region, a formerly independent kingdom pre-dates the formation of Ghana by 100 years. The city has a rich cultural heritage that is particularly evident in smaller surrounding towns. Trade, textiles, farming and mining are leading industries in Kumasi.

Nassau, Bahamas

Winston-Salem and Nassau, Bahamas, formalized their Sister City partnership on October 23, 2006. The word, Beach Scene BahamasBahamas, comes from the Spanish word “baja mar” meaning shallow sea.

The Bahama Islands are an archipelago of over 700 islands in the Western Atlantic Ocean. The Bahamas has a population of 305,000. Nassau is the Capital City of the Bahamas and is located on New Providence Island where 70% of the island’s population lives. Nassau is the Bahamas' largest city and has its largest port and is located only 185 miles from Miami.

The Bahamas have over 270 years of democratic rule and is one of the most politically stable countries in the world. The Main exports from the Bahamas are pharmaceuticals, cement, rum, crawfish and refined petroleum. Tourism generates 50% of the total gross domestic product and directly or indirectly employs half of the total work force.

Shanghai, Yangpu District, People's Republic of China

The Winston-Salem City Council formalized the partnership with Shanghai on December 18, 2006. Shanghai is situated on the banks of the Yangtze River Delta. It’s the largest city in the People's Republic of China and the eighth largest in the world. The 2000 census put the population of Shanghai Municipality at 16.738 million. Widely regarded as the citadel of China's modern economy, the city also serves as one of the most important cultural, commercial, financial, industrial and communications centers of China. Shanghai is one of the world's busiest ports, and became the largest cargo port in the world in 2005.

The two Chinese characters in the name Chinese Lanterns
"Shanghai" literally mean "on" and "sea".
In Mandarin the meaning is "go onto the sea", which is consistent with the seaport status of the city. The city has had various nicknames including "Paris of the East," "Queen of the Orient," and "Pearl of the Orient." The Yangpu District, meaning "Willow Bank," is one of the 19 districts in Shanghai. It is located in the northeast of Shanghai, bordering the Huanpu River. The southern part of Yangpu District is a major residential area with a population of some 1.24 million. Situated in northern Yangpu District are two of China's most distinguished universities, Fudan University and Tongji University.

Historically very Western in lifestyle, Shanghai is increasingly a critical center of communication with the Western world. Visitors to Shanghai find free public parks manicured to startling perfection in distinct contrast to the massive industrial installations. Shanghai’s international diversity is perhaps the world's foremost window of opportunity into the rich, historic and complex society of today's China.

The Winston-Salem Sister Cities Board has two members native to Shanghai, as well as several members who have traveled there. The WSSC Board is confident that this partnership will be both interesting and beneficial to both cities and looks forward to a long and rewarding relationship. 

Buchanan, Republic of Liberia

Buchanan is the third largest city in Liberia, lying on Waterhouse Bay, bordering the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of Africa. Buchanan has a population of 34,270. Named for Thomas Buchanan, cousin of U.S. president James Buchanan and first governor of Liberia, it is also the capital of Grand Bassa County and lies 70 miles (110 km) southeast of the capital of Liberia, Monrovia, near the mouth of the Saint John River. Fishing is an  important industry in the town. The town also has isolated beaches and lagoons.

Liberia has a long rich history with Winston-Salem dating back to the founding of Liberia as a free democratic state. The connection between Salem, NC and Liberia began in October 1836 when local residents immigrated to Liberia via the American Colonization Society. The connection continued when, following the end of the American Civil War, the Moravian Church established a neighborhood for Freedmen, named “Liberia,” on land of the former Schumann Plantation, which became the historic Happy Hill community.

Liberians on their way to school

In December 1832, the Port Cresson colony was founded in what is now Buchanan, by black Quakers of the New York and Pennsylvania Colonization Societies. It was established as a settlement for black emigrants from the United States. The emigrants named the settlement in honor of Elliott Cresson, a Philadelphia merchant and Pennsylvania Colonization Society founder who funded their voyage to Liberia.

Students on their way to school in Buchanan

Buchanan is the port for the dormant railway to the iron ore mines at Nimba. Buchanan Renewable Energies, a firm based in Toronto, Canada that processes chips from rubber tree trunks into biofuel, has begun operations in the city. Chinese investors have signed a memorandum of understanding to build a manufacturing zone in Buchanan in addition to providing other incentives to encourage business development.

What Does Sister Cities Winston-Salem Do?

Crafts from KumasiSister Cities Winston-Salem organizes a number of projects with our sister cities each year. Among the more notable:

The Sister Cities Board has sponsored a number of recent exchanges with our Sister Cities of Buchanan, Liberia and Yangpu District, China. During a recent exchange the Yangpu District sent a number of physicians for training at the Wake Forest Bowman Grey School of Medicine. Moldova sent representatives of their wine industry to study wine production and distribution in North Carolina. Forsyth Technical Community College has developed a partnership with Buchanan's Technical Institute assisting them in developing a curriculum for training in the construction field. The Sister Cities Board continues to research and pursue business opportunities in these and other areas that can benefit both cities.

The Sister Cities Board sponsors cultural exchanges. A musical group from Moldova toured North Carolina. While in Winston-Salem the Group performed with the Winston-Salem Piedmont Triad Symphony and at Wake Forest University. The Board also sponsors the annual "Young Artist Showcase" explained below.

Each year Sister Cities Winston-Salem conducts its "Young Artists Showcase." The theme for 2016 is "Peace through People."

World MapPlease join us as a member or patron!

The Winston-Salem Sister Cities Board
invites interested parties to join them in supporting worthwhile partnerships with countries world wide that are interested in the exchange of cultural and economic ideas.
Online Application

(336) 747-7474
PO Box 2511
Winston-Salem, NC 27102

Children from Ungheni

 Winston-Salem Sister Cities website.

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