Sister Cities International has announced that seven U.S. cities and their African counterparts have been chosen to perform projects to address sanitation, health, and water issues in urban areas of Africa. The African Urban Poverty Alleviation Program (AUPAP) is a three-year project funded by a $7.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It was launched in April 2009.
The seven grant recipients in phase 1 of AUPAP were selected from a pool of 34 applicants by an independent panel of five experts in the areas of sister city relationships, aid administration, and international development. Each city pairing will have a budget of up to $115,000 to apply to their projects, in addition to travel funds. The recipients include:
- Boulder, Colorado, and Kisumu, Kenya
- Corvallis, Oregon, and Gondar, Ethiopia
- Fort Worth, Texas, and Mbabane, Swaziland
- Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Ga East/West Districts, Ghana
- Lansing, Michigan, and Akuapem South Municipality, Ghana
- Louisville, Kentucky, and Tamale, Ghana
- The State of Maryland, and Bong & Maryland Counties, Liberia
In spring of 2010, Sister Cities International will begin the application process for the second round of projects. Up to 20 additional programs will be selected and will begin their projects on a rolling basis. The programs will then begin a similar process as the Phase 1 cities, with trainings, planning visits, work plan development, and program execution.
In 2011 Sister Cities International will select a small number of Phase 1 and Phase 2 programs to perform additional projects in their sister cities in the third year. As with the first two phases, this will be a competitive process.
AUPAP, administered in cooperation with the Africa Global Sister Cities Foundation, addresses some of the sources of urban poverty through water, health, and sanitation projects developed collaboratively by U.S. and African sister city programs. This includes involvement and support from the private sector, NGOs, and community-based organizations to provide sustained technical assistance and community development strategies.
Beyond improving the state of sanitation, health, and water infrastructures in urban areas of Africa, this project is aimed at accomplishing Sister Cities International’s mission of promoting peace and prosperity through international people-to-people collaboration.