Kumasi has been named as one of 50 Champion Cities selected as finalists in the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge, a global innovation competition that identifies and accelerates the most ambitious ideas developed by cities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was announced by the Bloomberg Philanthropies, the organisers of the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge in New York City, on June 15, this year.
The Global Mayors Challenge 2021, which is open to all cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, is organised by Bloomberg Philanthropies, an organisation that works in over 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people.
The 50 cities emerged from a competitive pool of 631 applications from 99 countries, in which they submitted ideas addressing four of the most significant challenges born of the pandemic: Economic recovery and inclusive growth; Health and well-being; Climate and environment; and Good governance and equality.
As a Mayors Challenge finalist, Kumasi, which now officially becomes the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge Champion City in Ghana, advances to the four-month Champion Phase of the competition.
From June to October, this year, the 50 finalist cities will refine their ideas with technical assistance from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its network of leading innovation experts.
Fifteen of the 50 cities will ultimately win the grand prize, with each receiving $1 million and robust multi-year technical assistance to implement and scale their ideas. Grand Prize Winners will be announced in early 2022.
Kumasi will train unemployed youth in new sanitation technologies to produce affordable bio-digesters and container-based toilets for local households.
Bloomberg Philanthropies statement about Kumasi’s innovative idea read in part: “Kumasi’s idea is unique because of its potential for broad impact: providing jobs that will produce hygienic, dignified, and affordable replacements for household toilets for residents”.
Responding to the news, the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Kumasi, Mr Osei Assibey Antwi, said in a statement, “I feel humbled and deem it a great privilege that our proposal on ‘Improving liquid waste management in low-income communities in Kumasi’ had qualified to the next stage of the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge as one of the 50 Champion Cities in the world.
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