Millennium Cities Initiative

Columbia Global Centers | Africa in Nairobi

The Millennium Cities Initiative (MCI) assists eleven sub-Saharan cities through a combination of research and policy analysis and by working with local, domestic and international partners to stimulate economic and social development. The Millennium Cities Initiative’s core mission is to help its “Millennium Cities” eradicate searing poverty and complete an urban transformation essential to attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. The hope is that the Millennium Cities can serve as scalable models, enabling similarly underresourced cities across Africa to chart their own progress toward achieving the MDGs.

MCI is currently working in the following 11 cities across eight countries:

• Mekelle, Ethiopia
• Accra, Ghana
• Kumasi, Ghana
• Kisumu, Kenya
• Blantyre, Malawi
• Bamako, Mali
• Segou, Mali
• Akure, Nigeria
• Kaduna, Nigeria
• Louga, Senegal
• Tabora, Tanzania

One of MCI’s top priorities is to attract foreign and domestic investment in order to stimulate economic growth. MCI works closely with city officials, investors and international partners to train local leadership to identify business opportunities and attract investment. The Initiative provides research in partnership with local governments to guide development strategies to ensure improved business opportunities lead to the attainment of the MDGs. Among the Initiative’s projects is the Regional Partnership to Promote Trade and Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa, an effort to promote collaboration between Millennium Cities and the region.

MCI also assists the Millennium Cities by conducting detailed, MDG-based needs assessments in the areas of education, public health, gender equality, and water and sanitation, to help the cities identify gaps in the provision and quality of related social services, together with the relative costs of filling those gaps. Through its thoughtful research and innovative partnerships, MCI is making a positive impact in the lives of millions of urban residents.

To learn more, visit Millennium Cities Initiative’s website.