ADDIS ABABA (EthiopiaOnline)― Bahr Dar City, the Capital of Amhara Regional State (Ethiopia) and the City of Madison, the Capital City of the State of Wisconsin (USA) have become Sister Cities on November 20, 2018, making Madison the second American city to become Bahir Dar’s sister city, next to the City of Cleveland, Ohio. In total, Bahir Dar has now three sister cities, including Ashdod, Israel’s sixth-largest city.

The process of becoming sister cities for Bahir Dar and Madison started when a group of Madison (Wisconsin, USA) residents submitted an application in August 2018 that would make Bahir Dar, a sister city of the Wisconsin’s capital.

As both Bahir Dar (population 243,00) and Madison (estimated population of 255,00) serve as capitals for their respective state or region, the two cities have large public universities and are located near major lakes, according to the application.

While Bahir Dar City is known for its Lake Tana (3,200 km2), which was nominated as UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2015 recognizing its national and international natural and cultural importance, the City of Madison has more than 15,000 registered lakes including man-made lakes (of which 40% have official names). Lake Winnebago is the largest lake (557 km2) and Petenwell Lake (93 km2) is the largest man-made lake for America’s north-central city, Madison.

Bahir Dar City is the home of Bahir Dar University (student population: 54,000) which is known for its Textile Engineering and Maritime Institute. On the other hand Madison is the home of the University of Wisconsin–Madison (student population: 44,400) one of the world renowned research universities and one of America’s Public Ivy universities.

The current Mayors of Bahir Dar and Madison are, respectively, Ayenew Belay and Paul Soglin.

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