Blantyre was founded in 1876 and declared a city in 1895. It is thus the oldest city in South-East-and Central Africa with a long history and a rich cultural heritage.
Blantyre, in southern Malawi, is situated in the mountains of the Shire Highlands at about 1,600 m altitude. With approx. 700,000 inhabitants it is the second largest city in Malawi. Blantyre and its neighboring town, Limbe, have a common parliament. The surface of both towns covers 215 km².
The two are considered the commercial center of Malawi and home of numerous national and international companies. Three of the five colleges of the University of Malawi are also situated here.
How it began:The partnership between Blantyre and Hanover
The friendship between Hanover and Blantyre started when a delegation of young Malawians visited Hanover as a part of their fact-finding tour through Germany. At the suggestion of Dr. Lore Henkel, member of the City Council and founder of "Friends of Central and East Africa Association", the visitors took home an invitation for ten young women to be trained as nurses in the “Oststadtkrankenhaus” hospital in Hanover. Thanks to the commitment of Mr. and Mrs. Henkel, the twinning with Blantyre was unanimously agreed upon by Hanover’s City Council on December 13, 1967. Until today, this city twinning is a motivation for personal exchange and for numerous municipal, cooperative projects dealing with development work. Both the Agenda 21 office and the Cultural Office of the City of Hanover have been working together with the cities of Blantyre and Poznan in the EU project "aware&fair" since 2011. Together, they work for the dissemination of the fair trade idea and the Millennium Development Goals and encourage the cultural exchange in the field of theater and music.