The shortlisted entries for the inaugural African Mayor Awards have been announced. The awards acknowledge the leadership and contribution made by Mayors of large, medium and small cities across Africa and celebrate achievements and excellence in urban development in Africa.
In the ‘Large Metropolis’ category, with 1,000,000 residents or more, Accra, Ghana; Cape Town, South Africa and Dakar, Senegal were shortlisted. In the intermediate, or Medium-Sized Cities category, localities with less than 1,000,000 and more than 200,000 residents, Kinondoni, Tanzania; Asunafo, Ghana and Bissau, Guinea-Bissau were selected. In the Small Cities category, for cities with up to 200,000 residents, Arua, Uganda; Bangangte, Cameroon and Praia, Cape Verde made the shortlist.
The finalists were selected unanimously by the competition’s judging panel, which includes Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, General-Secretary of United Cities and Local Governments-Africa (UCLG-A),Tokunbo Omisore, Chairman of the African Union of Architects, Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director for UN-Habitat, Vitor Leonel Miguel, Chairman of the Angolan Architects Union and Gaetan Siew, Chair, Construction Industry Sector of Mauritius.The Awards ceremony, which showcases excellence in urban development, will be hosted in Luanda by HE President José Eduardo Dos Santos on 30th April. The African Mayor Awards are held in conjunction with the 2nd Africa Urban Infrastructure Investment Forum (AUIIF) which, this year, discusses post-conflict reconstruction and turning African cities into economic power houses. H.E. Pedro Pires, former President of Cape Verde and Mo Ibrahim laureate will deliver the Keynote Address at the Forum. Under HE Pires’ leadership, the capital city of the island state saw remarkable growth and expansion, with investment in urban infrastructure, supported by appropriate housing designed to manage the transition from rural to city life.
Examples of such innovation and transformational development will be among the themes of the second AUIIF, which seeks to propose the concrete steps to be taken in order to maximise the effectiveness of urban infrastructure development, from finance through design to implementation. The outcome of the Forum will be incorporated in the programme of the 7th Edition of the Africities Summit from 1 to 5 December 2015, to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mr Omar Ben Yedder, the summit organiser and publisher of African Business magazine said that he was impressed with the calibre of conference speakers at this year’s meeting. He said: “Urbanisation is the development challenge of the next 20 years. Functioning cities create wealth. Unless we plan and think properly about what the future will look like and where our cities fit into this future, we will face immense problems and any retroactive action will prove costly and ineffective. The cities shortlisted today are being led by people who understand this and who are making great strides in creating livable cities that are creating wealth. He added: “We are also delighted to have so many dignitaries with us this year which shows that policy makers are taking this issue very seriously, starting with our hosts the governmentof Angola.”
The Africa Urban Infrastructure Investment Forum stresses the importance of tapping into both African and international capital to finance infrastructure development, as well as seeking to identify viable and innovative financing models to make infrastructure projects more attractive to investors.
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The Africa Urban Infrastructure Investment Forum will bring together the public and private sectors to seriously discuss urban development in Africa. For further information please visit www.auiif.com.
About the African Mayor Awards
United Cities and Local Governments-Africa (UCLG–A) launched the first ever “African Mayor Awards” in Luanda to celebrate the achievements and excellence in the development of
African cities. The African Mayor Awards programme recognises, celebrates and rewards City leaders who display exemplary qualities in leadership and vision, innovative thinking, management capabilities and integrity, social awareness, foster economic growth and development, ability to provide security and to protect the environment as well as the will and ability to foster good relations between communities from different cultural and social backgrounds. For further information please visit http://africanmayorawards.com
Angola began the slow but steady path to reform and rehabilitation when civil war came to an end in 2002. The Republic of Angola demonstrates the ability of African states to emerge from conflict and offer a secure and stable environment for reconstruction and development.
About the Angolan Ministry of Urbanism and Habitat
The MINUHA is the auxiliary ministerial department of the President of Angola with executive powers. It proposes the formulation, coordination, execution and monitoring of governmental policies in the areas of planning, territorial management, urbanisation and housing.
UN-HABITAT is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.
The UCLG-A is the umbrella organization and the united voice and representative of local government in Africa. It results from the unification of the three pre-existing continental groupings of local governments.
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