I am a huge fan of cities and their ability to create an environment in which people can thrive, so seeing the results of the African Mayor Awards last week was pretty cool. Awarded at the 2nd Africa Urban Infrastructure Investment Forum, the mayors of Praia, Cape Verde; Kinondoni, Tanzania; and Accra, Ghana were the winners for the small (pop. <200,000), intermediate (pop. 200,000-1,000,000), and large (pop. >1,000,000) city categories, respectively, based on this criteria:
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.
Accra beat out Cape Town and Dakar for the large city category. That is pretty impressive. Ghana also had two cities shortlisted for the awards. Asunafo secured a short-listing for the intermediate-sized cities.
The judges reviewed submissions from cities across the continent that submitted for consideration for the award. I will update this post with more information on the contents of the winning submissions should I come across that information.
Considering the judges of the awards, the Youthful Cities Index may be a nice balance to gauging how great city leadership is on the continent. According to the index, based on analysis of primary and secondary sources on young people between ages 19 and 29, Johannesburg is the best city on the continent for young people.
Let’s see how this competition shapes up for next year.