Mayors from over 90 countries have gathered in Accra, Ghana, to discuss among other issues how the cities can adopt the Fast Track Approach to the fight against HIV and Aids.
Blantyre City Mayor Noel Chalamanda and his Lilongwe City counterpart Mayor Willeeward Chapondera are attending the meeting under the sponsorship of the UNAIDS and National Aids Commission.
The Fourth World Summit of Mayors and Leaders from Africa and of African Descent at Accra International Conference Centre aims at solidifying the international alliance between Africa and the diaspora, developing partnerships between municipalities and other stakeholders and addressing economic and social development issues.
The theme of the summit, which has brought together over 20 000 delegates, is cities leading sustainable human development and economic empowerment for Africa and the diaspora.
Opening the summit on Monday, Lord Mayor of Accra Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuje said it was important for mayors and other African leaders to discuss issues affecting people on the continent.
Vanderpuje said there was need to advocate and be proactive in promoting city twining, sharing best practices and arranging training programmes for professionals.
He also said the development of people should be on the agenda of African leaders apart from the promotion of investment and tourism, ending HIV and Aids, provision of food, shelter, water and ending restlessness and racism.
In an interview from Ghana, Chalamanda described the summit which ends on Wednesday as a great opportunity to sell Blantyre to the outside world in areas of investment and tourism.
Said Chalamanda: “Leaders from the diaspora have come home to help in infrastructure development, education and help Africa to rise. Definitely, I would be very glad to invite some of these big names to Blantyre.”
Among notable people in attendance at the three-day summit are former president of Ghana Gerry Rawlings, Mayor Frank of City of Prairie View in Texas, USA, Marcus Garvey’d father and Hollywood actor Richard Grant.
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