Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), has won the inaugural edition of the prestigious President Jose Eduardo dos Santos African Best Mayor Award.
The MCE won the large cities category award which went with a cash prize of $200,000 and a certificate as part of the Second Africa Urban Infrastructure Investment Forum held in Luanda, Angola on Thursday, April 30.
Other cities which contested the award were Cape Town in South Africa and Dakar in Senegal.
A statement issued by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and copied to the Ghana News Agency said the award included a unique trophy designed by a distinguished Angolan artist who captured the past, present and future of African cities.
It also embodied the courage, conviction and challenges facing African mayors.
Receiving the award, Dr Vanderpuije expressed his appreciation to the late President John Evans Atta Mills, the current President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, and chiefs of Accra for giving him the opportunity to serve the good people of Accra.
“This award will be an inspiration to move the city of Accra and indeed Ghana forever forward, contributing to the development of Africa.”
Dr Vanderpuije said it has always been the commitment of the leadership and staff of the AMA 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 winning the award was a signature of excellence which must reminded the people of Accra that they were doing well but “must work harder in order to make Accra a place all of us will love to stay in.”
He urged Ghanaians to love and support one another, because Ghana was a great country with wonderful citizens.
Accra was selected in the category of large cities while Asunafo North Municipal Assembly in Ghana, which competed in the medium-size category lost to Kinodoni in Tanzania. The last category, small cities, was won by Praia in Cape Verde.
The African Best Mayor Awards programme recognizes, celebrates and rewards city leaders who display exemplary qualities in leadership and vision, innovative thinking, management capabilities and integrity.
Other leadership qualities recognized are social awareness, fostering of 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.