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FREDERICKSBURG LINK SPARKS HOPE
Sister-city relationship with Fredericksburg is beacon of hope for Prince's Town

 A Prince's Town woman carries home firewood on the largely unpaved road to Fredericksburg's sister city.
Frank Delano/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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RELATED: Tale of two soccer balls illustrates town's obsession with sport, and its need.

Date published: 8/27/2007

BY FRANK DELANO

Click here to read DAY 1.

VIDEO: Scenes from Ghana: a multimedia presentation

PHOTOS: View dozens of BONUS IMAGES from Ghana

PRINCE'S TOWN, Ghana--Its sister-city relationship with Fredericksburg has kindled hopes of a better future for this town-by-the-sea in Africa.

"I wish to see Prince's Town like Fredericksburg was some 10 years ago," said Alfred Kaku Aluade Acquah [AH-kwa], president of the town's sister-city committee.

He and other town leaders know that the relationship will not solve all of the town's problems, but the tie with Fredericksburg and the prospect of more American visitors has sparked interest and plans for improving the town.

"Prince's Town has never really attempted development before. I want to see actual developments here," Acquah said.

He and three other leaders of Prince's Town came to Fredericksburg last December for the ceremonies that established the sister-city relationship between the city in Virginia and the town in Ghana.

Acquah is now president of the Prince's Town branch of the Fredericksburg-Prince's Town Sister City Association. The group formed in Fredericksburg this year to forge educational, cultural and economic ties between the two, very different places.

The great distance between Acquah's dream and its realization became clear one day in July when he stopped in front of one of the few, two-story concrete buildings in Prince's Town.

He said its builders used sea water to make the concrete. The salt water corroded the steel reinforcing rods. Now the once proud house is falling apart.

A big hole is in the roof. Pillars, walls and floors are crumbling. Windows and doors are missing.

"One day, we will repair this building to become the headquarters of the sister-city association," he said. "But at present we don't have the funding."

A LIST OF NEEDS

Funds are also lacking for a host of projects that the Prince's Town Sister City Committee has identified to improve the economy of the town and the lives of the 7,000 people who live there and in nearby villages.

Ranging from major to minor, the committee's goals include:


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Reporter Frank Delano visited Prince's Town, Fredericksburg's new sister city, during a July trip to Ghana, where he served in the Peace Corps 40 years ago.

YESTERDAY: Sister cities Prince's Town and Fredericksburg are worlds apart.

TOMORROW: Spotsylvania man leads effort to protect villagers from malaria. WEDNESDAY: Profile of Fredericksburg's Pamela Bridgewater, ambassador to Ghana THURSDAY: What is the future of the sister-city relationship? FRIDAY: Forty years later, reporter's return to Ghana is bittersweet. In LIFE SATURDAY: Remembering Prince's Town's Golden Age, and a photo essay on a traditional burial. In TOWN & COUNTY