The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is participating in the Fourth Summit of Mayors and Leaders of Africa and of African Descent in Ghana.

300 prominent mayors, elected officials, and private sector representatives from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States are converging on Accra, Ghana for the summit, scheduled from 1 to 3 June at the Accra International Conference Center.

The theme of the summit is: Cities Leading Sustainable Human Development and Economic Empowerment for Africa and the Diaspora.

NABJ President Bob Butler and former NABJ Treasurer John Yearwood will oversee a team of young journalists who will provide news coverage of the summit. President Butler has worked to extend NABJ’s world-class training to Black journalists outside the United States. Mr. Yearwood is a member of the Global Journalism Task Force and is the current chair of the International Press Institute Executive Board.

The journalists will post stories to social media and will tweet under the hashtag #ARDN2015. (African Renaissance and Diaspora Network)

Under the leadership of Dr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, Lord Mayor of Accra and President of the Global Alliance of Mayors, the Summit will bring together over 300 participants representing municipalities, government, private sector, international organizations, civil society, youth organizations, and the media from more than 30 countries worldwide. They will share experiences and ways to promote sustainable development in cities and “Fast-Track” steps to end the AIDS epidemic, and agree on a Declaration and Action plan.

“We are excited at the opportunity to continue to work with our brothers and sisters in Africa and the Diaspora to examine opportunities for cities to spur socio-economic growth and development,” said Dr. Vanderpuije. “We hope that this important forum will provide a springboard for municipalities to deepen the ongoing dialogue with the private sector and explore ways and means to improve the well-being of our citizens.”

The Accra Summit of Mayors will be held under the auspices of H.E. Mr. John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana. It features a wide array of topics on the challenges for mayors and city governments in the emerging post-2015 development agenda of the United Nations. UN agencies in Ghana, including the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Paris Declaration on “Fast Track Cities: Ending the AIDS epidemic globally by 2030”, which commits its signatories to achieving the 90-90-90 HIV treatment targets by 2020, are featured prominently on the programme.

“High-level consultations between mayors from Africa and the Diaspora offer a great opportunity to generate support for the Paris Declaration and the Executive Director’s Fast Track Cities initiative,” said Djibril Diallo, Senior Adviser to the Executive Director of UNAIDS. “The 90-90-90 targets are to ensure that by 2020, 90% of people living with HIV knowing their HIV status, 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status are receiving treatment, and 90% of people are being treated with suppressed viral loads.”

In addition to UNAIDS’ Fast Track initiative, the Accra summit features such thematic pillars as gender equality and women’s empowerment, and youth entrepreneurship and employment. The progamme of the three-day summit is designed to foster an interactive policy dialogue between representatives of municipalities and private and public institutions, who will examine strategic directions and prospects to foster effective partnership building and twinning of cities, explore investment opportunities and international cooperation for the development of Africa and the Diaspora.

Invited speakers include Mr. Cheick Hadjibou Soumaré,President of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU); Mr. Curtiss Stancil, Senior Vice President of Edison Learning, a leading international educational services provider creating effective and sustainable solutions to raise student achievement;  and Dr. Anta Sané of Howard University, who heads President Obama’s Youth African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina, who is the First Vice-President of the African American Mayors Association (AAMA), an organization that represents over 500 African American Mayors and 48 million constituents across the United States, will be part of the U.S. delegation of mayors.

The Accra Summit of Mayors begins on 1 June by a high-level opening ceremony hosted by the Ghanaian President. The opening session will be followed by a regional panel discussion of mayors on cities and socio-economic growth. Panel discussions on “Making Public and Private Initiatives work for cities” and “Issues of race and Afro-Descendants and community development” and Thematic Working Group sessions on “Promoting trade and investment”, and “Identifying best practices in agriculture, health, education, IT, infrastructure development” are part of the programme of Day 2 and 3. A press conference is scheduled for 3 June as well as a cultural tour of Accra.

Organized by the Global Alliance of Mayors and Leaders from Africa and of African Descent, the African Renaissance and Diaspora Network, Inc., in partnership with the City of Accra, la Asociacion Nacional  de Alcades de Municipios con Poblacion Afrodescendiente (AMUNAFRO), and UNAIDS, the World Summit of Mayors represents a major event in the follow-up to the Third Summit of Mayors held in September 2013 in Cali and Cartagena, Colombia, which resulted in the conclusion of agreements between businesses, municipalities and communities valued at US$1.8 million.

For further information, contact: Nicholas Gouede | UNAIDS New York | tel. +1 646 666 8017


The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.