Our Programmes



Sign up to our newsletter.

Follow ODI

Cities: new narratives for a stronger Africa-Europe partnership

Time (GMT +01) 13:30 15:00
This event has finished, watch or listen to the playback below.


  • Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr

    Panellist – Mayor of Freetown

  • Mohammed Adjei Sowah

    Panellist – Mayor of Accra

  • Marta Foresti

    Panellist - Director of ODI Europe

  • Dubravka Šuica

    Panellist - Vice-President of the European Commission for Democracy and Demography

  • Mo Ibrahim

    Panellist – Founder and Chairman, Mo Ibrahim Foundation

  • Connie Hedegaard

    Panellist – Co-Chair, Africa-Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Energy , Former European Commissioner for Climate Action and Chair, KR Foundation

  • Louise Mushikiwabo

    Panellist – Secretary General, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Rwanda

  • João Ribeiro de Almeida

    Panellist – President, Institute Camões

  • Edlam Abera Yemeru

    Panellist - Chief on Urbanization at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

  • Ayodeji Adewunmi

    Panellist - Former Co-Chief Executive Officer at Gokada and member of the AEF High-level Group

  • Tariye Gbadegesin

    Panellist - Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer at ARM-Harith Infrastructure Investment LTD and member of the AEF Women Leaders Network

  • Musimbi Kanyoro

    Panellist - Former President and Chief Executive Officer of The Global Fund for Women and member of the AEF Women Leaders Network

  • Dharmendra Kanani

    Chair – Chief Spokesperson, Friends of Europe



The role of cities and mayors is critical to reset the relationship between Africa and Europe in the post-Covid-19 recovery. Mayors across the two continents are already working together, showing leadership and progress in areas where states struggle to find common ground. These pragmatic alliances between cities can reinvigorate a more equal partnership between Africa and Europe, making a real difference in the lives of all urban residents.

Cities matter: by 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities. While not all cities grow at the same pace across Africa and Europe, they share similar opportunities and challenges pertaining to demography, climate change and global pandemics – all factors affecting modern urban living. When Covid-19 dealt a blow to African and European cities with devastating health and economic impacts, mayors stepped up to the challenge, working to secure access to health and other basic services for their residents, as well as innovating and adapting policies and practices to a new global reality.

In this session, organised in partnership with the Africa Europe Foundation (AEF), mayors contributing to the Mayors' Dialogue on Growth on Solidarity share their experiences of working together with other leading figures and look ahead to how cities can shape the future partnership between the two continents.

Cities connect all the work streams of the AEF Strategy Groups, from transport infrastructure, food systems and the energy transition to healthcare and digital innovation. This session will focus on how city leaders and existing city led platforms can act as catalysts to drive action on the priority initiatives identified by the Foundation Strategy Groups.

A limited number of registration places are available to participate via Zoom. The session will be livestreamed here to a wider audience.

In partnership with