Sister Cities International Receives UN 2014 South-South Cooperation Partnership Award

Sister Cities International’s Sino-African Initiative group photo

The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation presented Sister Cities International’s Sino-African Initiative with the 2014 South-South Cooperation for Partnership Award on November 21. The Sino-African Initiative is a unique two-year program that was designed to address the manner in which Chinese, African, and U.S. cities can collaborate on economic development and urban poverty issues in Africa. This initiative was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create strategies that would ensure the development and poverty alleviation projects addressed community needs and would promote transparent business practices with government accountability through cooperative efforts among Chinese, African, and U.S. citizen diplomacy networks, local municipal governments, and businesses.

Christopher Stohr served as Project Manager for Urbana Sister City as part of the Zomba (Malawi)–Urbana (United States)–Haizhu District (China) trilateral partnership. As Project Manager, Stohr has hosted international visitors and has made several trips to Malawi and China for a development project to reduce landfilled (dump) waste in Zomba through source separation of the large amount of organic wastes from noncompostable materials. Organic wastes will be composted at a new facility at the sewage treatment plant. Compost will be sold to farmers for use as mulch and fertilizer. The project was one of only three selected for this pilot citizen diplomacy development project. The Sino-African Initiative was also recognized last year by the U.S. Department of State (http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/article/2013/02/20130201141975.html#axzz3hIOwOD00).