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The Africa-Europe Mayors' Dialogue

Hero image description: Mayors Dialogue Visual Motif Image credit:Federica Fragapane/ODI

The Africa-Europe Mayors’ Dialogue is a platform of African and European mayors working together to deliver innovative and practical solutions for inclusive growth and sustainable urban development in and between their cities.

The collaboration focuses on areas of common interest such as the urban green and blue economy; creative sectors, culture and the arts; sustainable urban financing and human mobility.

The Mayors’ Dialogue aspires to a new and equal model of cooperation between Africa and Europe, focusing on the needs and potential of all urban residents and their contribution to economies and societies.

Initiated in 2020 by the mayors of Freetown and Milan, today participating cities include Abidjan, Accra, Agadez, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bologna, Bristol, Dakar, Durban, Entebbe, Grenoble, Helsinki, Kampala, Kanifing, Kigali, Lisbon, Mannheim, Maputo, Montpellier, Monrovia, Paris, Tunis and Zürich.

Mayors from Africa and Europe unite for climate justice

Cities are hotspots of vulnerability and risk and African cities are disproportionately suffering the impact of the climate crisis, having done little to contribute to it. At a time when we see entrenched divisions and inequality between Africa and Europe, mayors from both continents are working together for climate justice.

Speaking from the Africa-Europe Mayors’ Dialogue this film features: Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown; Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan; Talib Ahmed Bensouda, Lord Mayor of Kanifing; Elizabeth Sackey, Mayor of Accra; Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol.

Green urban innovations: cities take on the climate crisis

Over 70% of global CO2 emissions can be attributed to urban areas. The battle for the planet will therefore be won or lost in cities.

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A superblock in Barcelona

On Freedom of Movement (wi de muv)

"On Freedom of Movement" (wi de muv) is a forthcoming artistic documentary that considers what it means to be free to move, not as in leave or flee, but to move. It explores the ability of the environments we live in – especially cities – to create the space people need to move. Shot in Freetown, Sierra Leone, it explores the power of the creative sectors in the city and their immense potential.

Labrum x ODI Makers Journey

This short video was filmed during a trip of Freetown makers to London in September 2022 for a creative exchange with London based Sierra Leone menswear designer Foday Dumbuya of LABRUM London. This trip was part of the Freetown- Milan fashion project that’s working with designers, musicians and artists in Freetown to develop their creative industry and launch the brand ‘Made in Sierra Leone’ for the international markets.

In conversation with Beppe Sala

Mayor of Milan Beppe Sala, a co-founder of the Mayors' Dialogue, joins Marta Foresti to discuss opportunities and challenges facing Milan and the power of city-to-city learning.

Growth and solidarity: cities reimagining human mobility in Africa and Europe

The Mayors of Milan and Freetown take part in a public lecture at the London School of Economics and Political Science alongside the Director of ODI Europe.

Data visualisation: the Africa-Europe Mayors' Dialogue

Explore the cities participating in the Africa-Europe Mayors' Dialogue in our data visualisation. 

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Cities in Africa and Europe must lead in the recovery. Here's why

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr (Mayor of Freetown) and Giuseppe Sala (Mayor of Milan) reflect on the Mayors' Dialogue, as part of the World Economic Forum's Davos Agenda.

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Watch the Mayors of Freetown and Milan in conversation

Mayors Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr and Giuseppe Sala discuss their shared vision for city-led collaboration.

Growth and solidarity: mayors and cities reimagining migration in Africa and Europe

Director of ODI Europe, Marta Foresti, explains the Mayors' Dialogue and how it aims to foster better city-led collaboration.

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Picture of city scape of Kigali.

Mission statement: the Africa-Europe Mayors' Dialogue

Learn about our political and policy goals, how cities work together within the Dialogue and why cities are uniquely positioned to reinvigorate the Africa–Europe partnership.

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Mayors Dialogue Visual Motif

Our key content

In the media

ECPDM Great Insights article — Mayors on migration: ‘Change the narrative by changing realities on the ground’

Freetown’s Mayor, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, and the Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, who co-lead the Mayors' Dialogue on Growth and Solidarity, discuss human mobility and the future of cities with ECDPM’s Amanda Bisong.

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Rai News: Mayors address the challenges faced by cities at meeting in London

News coverage of a public event in London on the Mayors' Dialogue by Italian news agency Rai News, detailing the key ideas and concepts behind the initiative.

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  1. Bridging Africa’s urban infrastructure gap: Financial intermediaries for facilitating cities’ access to debt finance in Africa

    Working papers

  2. Contextualising the Gambia’s air pollution challenges

  3. Modelling urban expansion in Africa: an introduction of TI-City

  4. Cities and Voices


  5. Green urban innovations: cities take on the climate crisis

  6. Waste management in Africa: a review of cities’ experiences

    Working papers

  7. Sierra Leone fabrics and fashion: prospects and challenges for the sector

    Case/country studies

  8. Creating our collective future: what the arts and design can do for development

  9. Capital markets for cities

    Working papers

  10. Investing in cities: how can the Commonwealth act to leverage private finance?

    Briefing/policy papers

  11. Our collective future


  12. The power of city-to-city problem-solving: lessons from Africa and Europe

  13. Cities: new narratives for a stronger Africa-Europe partnership


  14. The Mayors' Dialogue on Growth and Solidarity: city profiles

    Briefing/policy papers

  15. The Mayors' Dialogue on Growth and Solidarity: framing paper

    Briefing/policy papers

  16. A Mayors' Dialogue on Growth and Solidarity: overview of cities’ priorities and emerging partnerships

    Working papers

  17. Urbanisation and human mobility: fact sheets

    Briefing/policy papers