The Mayor of Accra, Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, has won the inaugural edition of the prestigious President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos African Mayor Awards held in Luanda, Angola, as part of the sescond Africa Urban Infrastructure Investment Forum.
The event, which took place on Thursday, April 30, at the Talatona Convention Centre (CCTA), saw Accra emerging winner in the Large Cities Category, beating other contenders such as Cape Town in South Africa, and Dakar in Senegal.
The award includes a unique trophy designed by a distinguished Angolan artist who captures the past, present and future of African cities and embodies the courage, conviction and challenges facing African mayors, a certificate and a cash prize of 200,000 dollars.
Receiving the award, the Mayor of Accra expressed his appreciation to the late President John Evans Atta Mills, the current President John Mahama and the chiefs of Accra for giving him the opportunity to serve the people of Accra.
He said it had always been the commitment of the leadership and staff of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (A.M.A) to do well to contribute to the Better Ghana Agenda, adding that policies and decisions taken by the assembly continued to get international recognition.
“Winning this award is a signature of excellence which must remind people of Accra that they are doing well, but must work harder in order to make Accra a place all will love it to be,” he stated.
The Mayor urged Ghanaians to love and support one another and stop pulling each other down, saying “Ghana is a great country and the citizens are wonderful.
Accra was selected in the category of large cities, while Asunafo North also from Ghana, competed in the Medium Size Category but lost to Kinodoni in Tanzania.
The last category, which is small cities, was won by Praia in Cape Verde.
The African Mayor Awards programme recognizes, 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.
It also recognises the ability to foster good relations between communities from different cultural and social backgrounds.
Some of the achievements of AMA under the leadership of Mr Okoe Vanderpuije, are: ending the shift system of education within its jurisdiction, starting the construction of 110 Millennium City Schools with 11 completed and the rest at various stages of completion, provision of a liquid waste treatment plant at East Legon to serve the University of Ghana and its environs, on-going rehabilitation of the Mudor Liquid Waste Treatment Plant, pump stations and sewage lines, introduction of polluter pay principle and the distribution of 117,000 waste bins to households within its jurisdiction in collaboration with the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA), and capping of landfill sites.
Under his leadership, the metropolis was also selected as part of the 100 resilient cities pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, selected for Bloomberg Foundation Initiative for road safety, and received the IBM Smart City award.