Meet African Mayors Behind The Continent’s Fast Growing Cities

Meet African Mayors Behind The Continent’s Fast Growing Cities

By Samantha Spooner | From Mail & Guardian Africa

The roles of Africa’s mayors vary greatly according to country. They could be responsible for providing basic environmental, planning, public health, roads and waste services, or may just perform delegated functions as stated by the council.

Some are elected for a defined length of time whilst others are appointed for indefinite periods. But generally, a city’s mayor is meant to be the guarantor of services, the public good and citizens’ participation in local life.

Today, Africa has the highest rate of urbanisation in the world and, with the share of Africans living in urban areas projected to grow from 36% in 2010 to 50% by 2030 Africa’s mayors have a big task. Additionally, they have to deal with a great deal of constraints in terms of a limited ability to affect change, small budgets, and urban violence.

While how best to develop the continent’s cities is explored, there are mayors who are helping set the standard. So, who are these?

In a bid to get more recognition for Africa’s mayors, the “José Eduardo dos Santos African Mayor Awards” were launched last year—it is an initiative that is supported by the Government of Angola, the UN-Habitat, IC Publications Group as well as United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa).

Three winners each took away a cash prize that would go towards specific local initiatives. The amount of $50,000 went to José Ulisses Correia e Silva and the city of Praia in Cape Verde (small city category), $100,000 went to Yusuph Mwenda and Kinondoni in Tanzania (medium city) and Alfred Oko Vanderpuije of Accra, Ghana (large city), received $200,000.

Whilst the prize-givers didn’t provide further details as to why these individuals merited the award, Mail & Guardian Africa did some research and discovered a few notable achievements that support their wins.

Read more at Mail & Guardian Africa