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15 cities shortlisted for Guangzhou urban innovation award

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Lookman Oshodi


The secretariat of Guagzhou International Award for Urban Innovation has selected 15 cities as the finalists for this year’s competition.The selection process by the technical committee members was held in Surabaya, Indonesia at the sideline of the 7th United Cities and Local Governments-Asia Pacific Congress (UCLG-ASPAC Congress.

Among the 15 cities shortlisted for the award is one African city, eThekwini (Durban) of South Africa with urban upgrading and sanitation projects.Other 14 shortlisted cities are spread across Asia and Pacific, Middle East, North and South America.

The 15 cities will be invited in December to present their initiatives at the International Conference on Urban Innovation, Guangzhou, China after which five cities will be selected by the Jury.

The biennial Guangzhou Award is a collaborative vision among the City of Guangzhou, the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and Metropolis to recognize exemplary models of innovative policies and practices in the local implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban
Agenda.

A total of 313 initiatives were received from 213 cities in 70 countries and regions. Out of the lot, the secretariat received 17 proposals from African cities with three coming from Nigeria.

In a government institutions focused award, one state government and two non-governmental organizations submitted initiatives from Nigeria. Project Director of Arctic Infrastructure and a technical committee member of 2018 Guangzhou Award, Mr. Lookman Oshodi said the participation of government institutions from Africa is abysmally low and importantly, the quality of initiatives submitted by the African ‭ ‬organizations ‭ ‬for ‭ ‬the award‭ ‬ was‭ ‬ not‭ ‬ impressive.‭ ‬ He therefore stressed the need for government‭at‭ all‭levels,‭ ‬ ‭ ‬especially‭ ‬‬ ‭ local‭ ‬ ‭ ‬government‭ ‬ ‭ level‭ ‬ ‭ ‬to‭ ‬ ‭ ‬develop‭ ‬ ‭ capacity‭ ‬ ‭ ‬in‭ ‬project conceptualization, planning and implementation.


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