Ground-breaking initiative supports African mayors to transform their cities

Ground-breaking initiative supports African mayors to transform their cities

Ground-breaking initiative supports African mayors to transform their cities
Ground-breaking initiative supports African mayors to transform their cities

African Mayoral Leadership Initiative (AMALI)

Today, the African Mayoral Leadership Initiative (AMALI) (https://AMALICities.Africa) unveiled its plans to catalyse the transformation of cities across the continent. The initiative will provide exclusive, tailored support to African city leaders, drawing on the insights and experience of a distinguished group of coaches including former heads of state, government ministers, and mayors with a legacy of transformation.

The inaugural cohort of mayors taking part in the AMALI City Leadership Programme gathered for an intensive, four-day leadership forum held at the University of Cape Town this week. The forum kicked off a year-long programme, which will support the participating mayors to hone their visions for their cities and identify the teams and tools needed to realise them.

The initiative was conceived by the African Centre for Cities (ACC) at the University of Cape Town and Big Win Philanthropy. Also announced today is that Bloomberg Philanthropies will join the collaboration. Speaking at the conclusion of the Forum, Big Win Chair and President, Jamie Cooper, said:

“Africa is experiencing unprecedented rates of urbanisation and growth of its youthful populations. Bold and competent city leadership has the potential to harness these trends and put cities and countries on a trajectory in which their populations thrive for generations to come. I look forward to working with the leaders in our inaugural cohort as they plan out their respective journeys to delivering these game-changing pathways for their people.”

Edgar Pieterse, Founding Director of ACC, noted:

“With 42% of the African population living in cities[1], it’s clear that they must be a priority in the effort to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth for the continent. I was inspired to hear the fresh and innovative ideas shared by the city leaders this week and look forward to seeing how they put them into practice.”

Bloomberg Philanthropies brings to AMALI the wealth of learnings it has developed through its family of existing city leadership and government innovation programmes, including its flagship Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative. Among Bloomberg’s initial contributions will be providing African mayors participating in AMALI with data support including technical assistance, access to data experts, and workshops and other materials to help them enhance their use of data to deliver results that matter to residents.

James Anderson, who leads Government Innovation programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies, said:

“Cities are our future – and we need to ensure city leaders have the tools, resources, and networks needed to lead from the front. Bloomberg Philanthropies supports programmes around the globe focused on strengthening city leadership, promoting ambitious city innovation, and equipping city halls with the tools needed today to deliver better results. We are delighted to partner on the AMALI programme and launch new work to ensure Africa’s mayors are increasingly well positioned to leverage the power of data to strengthen communities and improve lives.”

AMALI advisor and former Mayor of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Arkebe Oqubay, added:

“It has been inspiring to witness the first AMALI City Leadership Forum in Cape Town. I am delighted to see African mayors learning about transformative leadership and exchanging experiences on how to transform African cities into vibrant, productive, and liveable hubs that are engines of the economy.”

[1] Source: World Bank (

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Mayoral Leadership Initiative (AMALI).

Notes to editors:
Photo and video:

A recording of a briefing held at the conclusion of the forum is available here ( It features remarks from Edgar Pieterse, Jamie Cooper, James Anderson, Former Prime Minister of Mozambique, Luísa Dias Diogo, Mayor of Lusaka, Zambia, Chilando Chitangala, and Mayor of Quelimane, Mozambique, Manuel de Araújo. The downloadable video and a selection of photos from the forum can be accessed here ( All photos and video footage should be credited to the “African Mayoral Leadership Initiative (AMALI)”.

Advisory board, coaches, speakers, and facilitators
The advisory board, coaches, speakers, and facilitators who took part in the inaugural forum are:

  • Jamie Cooper, Co-Chair of AMALI; Founder and President, Big Win Philanthropy
  • Edgar Pieterse, Co-Chair of AMALI; Founding Director, African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town
  • Arkebe Oqubay, Senior Minister, Ethiopia; Professor of Practice, SOAS University of London and University of Johannesburg; and Former Mayor of Addis Ababa
  • Ebrahim Rasool, Former Premier of the Western Cape Province, South Africa; Former South African ambassador to the United States of America
  • Hastings Chikoko, Managing Director of Regions&Mayoral Engagement and Regional Director for Africa, C40 Cities
  • Idris Jala, Former CEO of the Malaysian Cabinet’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU)
  • James Anderson, Head of Government Innovation Programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies; Former Communications Director to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, United States of America
  • Kesete Admasu, CEO, Big Win Philanthropy
  • Kivutha Kibwana, Former Governor of Makueni County, Kenya; Former Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya
  • Luísa Dias Diogo, Former Prime Minister of Mozambique; Former Deputy Minister of Planning and Finance, and Former Minister of Planning and Finance, Mozambique
  • Mamphela Ramphele, Co-president of the Club of Rome; Chair of Desmond Tutu IP Trust; Former Vice Chancellor of University of Cape Town; Former Managing Director at the World Bank
  • Marty Linksy, Professor at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and a co-founder of Cambridge Leadership Associates, United States of America
  • Sicily Kariuki, Former Cabinet Secretary for Water, Sanitation and Irrigation; Former Cabinet Secretary for Health, Kenya
  • Wanjira Mathai, Managing Director, Africa and Global Partnerships, World Resource Institute

Inaugural cohort of the AMALI City Leadership Programme
The members of the inaugural cohort of the AMALI City Leadership Programme are:

  • Adanech Abiebie – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Chilando Chitangala – Lusaka, Zambia
  • Davis Mwamfupe – Dodoma, Tanzania
  • Dresse Sahilu Goshu – Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
  • Hailu Jelde – Adama, Ethiopia
  • Kimani Wamatangi – Kiambu, Kenya
  • Mahmoud Muhammed Mussa – Zanzibar, Tanzania
  • Manuel de Araújo – Quelimane, Mozambique
  • Mpasa Mwaya – Kitwe, Zambia
  • Namayanja Florence – Masaka City, Uganda
  • Omary Said Kumbilamoto – Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Raymonde Goudou Coffie – Lacs, Côte d’Ivoire
  • Regina Bakitte Musoke – Nansana, Uganda
  • Roger Mbassa Ndine – Douala, Cameroun
  • Samuel Mollalign – Dessie, Ethiopia

For more information, please contact:

About AMALI:
The African Mayoral Leadership Initiative (AMALI) seeks to catalyse the transformation of cities in Africa by providing tailored support to city leaders through two key platforms. The AMALI City Leadership Programme offers a year-long programme that supports mayors in honing the visions for their cities. The participating mayors gain clarity on the teams and tools required to successfully implement their plans and secure support from their constituents and key stakeholders. The AMALI Urban Governance Research Lab provides mayors and other policymakers with the research support and data analytics they need to transform African cities.

Website: www.AMALICities.Africa

About Big Win Philanthropy:
Big Win Philanthropy has deep experience developing leadership programmes, having co-developed the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program held at Harvard University, and the Amujae Initiative hosted by the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development. Big Win also provides direct support to heads of state and public leaders across Africa who are pursuing transformational change.

About African Centre for Cities:
The African Centre for Cities (ACC) is an interdisciplinary hub at the University of Cape Town with a mandate to conduct meaningful research on how to understand, recast, and address pressing urban crises. ACC is recognised globally as a leading institution for urban research in Africa with a decade-long track record of promoting a Southern perspective on the future of cities.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 700 cities and 150 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2022, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.7 billion. For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook (, Instagram (, YouTube (, Twitter ( and LinkedIn (