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 Angola as part of the 2nd Africa urban infrastructure investment forum.
Dr Vanderpuije beat his contenders from Cape Town in South Africa and Dakar in Senegal to snatch the prestigious award in the large cities categories at the Talatona Convention Centre (CCTA), Thursday.
The award includes a unique trophy designed by a distinguished Angolan artist which 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 going to winner of the large city category.
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, 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.
Receiving the award, the Mayor of Accra expressed his appreciation to the late President John Evans Atta Mills, the current President of Ghana John Mahama and chiefs of Accra for giving him the opportunity to serve the good people of Accra.
He further added it has always been the commitment of the leadership and staff of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly to do well to contribute to the better Ghana agenda and as such policies and decisions taken by the assembly continue to get international recognition.
He said the 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 urged Ghanaians to love and support one another and stop pulling each other down because Ghana is a great country and the citizens are wonderful.
Accra was selected in the category of large cities whiles 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.
Some of the achievements of AMA under the leadership of Dr. Vanderpuije are ending the shift system of education within its jurisdiction, started the construction of 110 millennium city schools with eleven completed and the rest at various stages of completion, provision of a liquid waste treatment at East legon to serve 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.
Other notable international recognitions Accra has achieved under his leadership are, Accra being selected as part of the 100 resilient cities pioneered by the Rockefeller foundation, Accra selected for Bloomberg foundation Initiative for road safety and receiving of the IBM smart city award.