Sister Cities International’s Sino-African Initiative (SAI) is a two-year program funded through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. SAI is designed to address the manner in which Chinese, African, and U.S. cities can collaborate on economic development and urban poverty issues in Africa. By working with Chinese, African, and U.S. public diplomacy networks, local municipal governments, and businesses, this initiative seeks to create strategies that ensure development and poverty alleviation projects address community needs, safeguard human rights and safety, and promote transparent business practices and government accountability. Activities for this program include research and program design, exchanges, and webinar and conference sessions.
Research and Design
This initiative begins with one year of in-depth research including analysis, interviews, surveys, and discussions to understand key issue areas and create resources and guidelines targeted at developing trilateral pilot programs for Chinese, African, and US sister cities. The programs will encompass business and corporate social responsibility, higher education, African municipal development, and citizen diplomacy.
SAI will conclude at the end of the second year with a feasibility report. The focus of the report will include best practices in creating Sino-African-U.S. trilateral sister city partnerships and multilateral cooperation for economic development and urban poverty alleviation programs.
Trilateral Pilot Projects and Exchanges
During the second year, pilot projects involving U.S., African, and Chinese communities are implemented. The overall objective of each project is to identify areas in which U.S., African, and Chinese cities can collaborate on economic development and urban poverty issues in Africa. Each of the projects includes a construction and procurement component in the African city as well as a trilateral exchange and training component.
Cities selected for pilot projects:
- Nairobi, Kenya – Denver, Colorado – Kunming, China. Click here for project details.
- Osogbo, Nigeria – Asheville and Raleigh, North Carolina – Xiangyang, China. Click here for project details.
- Zomba, Malawi – Urbana, Illinois – Haizhu District, China. Click here for project details.
Conferences and Webinars
A series of webinars and a major conference will take place to help launch the pilot programs. The webinars will provide additional resources to help cities through the application process. The conference will provide a platform for participants to interact and to solidify their projects.
For more information on SAI, please contact Lula Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org.