The 2023 World Mayor Jury Award given to
Manuel De Araújo
Mayor of Quelimane, Mozambique
Manuel De Araujo, Mayor of Quelimane, Germany
Manuel De Araújo, Mayor of Quelimane, Mozambique, has been given the 2023 World Mayor Jury Award for his defence of democratic values in his country and his ambitious plans and initiatives to make Quelimane one of the most sustainable cities in Africa

(Full list)

Commendation: I first met Manuel de Araújo in Sydney in 2006 during an IDU meeting. At the time, I was impressed by his brilliance and his clear-sighted vision for a peaceful and prosperous Mozambique. Manuel de Araújo's service to his fellow citizens has been reflected in the way he has been repeatedly entrusted with the governance of Quelimane and he has repaid popular trust with serious and prudent management and the promotion of better living standards and healthier lifestyles, having shown unusual leadership skills in very difficult times such as when cyclone Freddy devastated his city and led him to dedicate himself 100% to its reconstruction. Manuel de Araújo's brilliant professional, academic and political career and international network make him a guarantor of democracy and a promoter of development in one of the countries that need them most. I am convinced that Mozambique's future will be better if it can continue to count on Manuel de Araújo's service as the inhabitants of Quelimane already do.

Manuel de Araújo is proud to say that Quelimane is the cycling capital of Mozambique and that his dream is to make it the cycling capital of Africa.

However, his work goes far beyond this detail. We must not forget that this region is battered by hurricanes and cyclones which, in addition to material destruction and lack of sanitary conditions, result in the spread of diseases such as acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), malaria, diarrhoea, fever, measles, upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). The struggle undertaken by Manuel Araújo to help the population solve these problems and others is not known to many in the world. 

The difficulties resulting from being a poor city and belonging to the African continent, most of the time forgotten by all of us who already have much better conditions in our developed countries, do not allow us to look at others who are further away.

Considering all the above and also for his stance on the sustainable development of his municipality, his environmentalist vision of the world, the search for solutions that benefit his population, for being a Mozambican who has done a lot for his country and for being an African who dreams of placing this continent in a better world, I vote for Manuel!

Commendation: O meu voto vai para Edil Manuel de Araújo porque durante o todos estes anos trouxe para cidade de Quelimane muitas inovações, a bicicleta ontem era meio de transporte de pobres , hoje ele revolucionou a modalidade a bicicleta é o meio mais usado e os resultados são notórios temos a primeira ciclovia de Moçambique e a Bicicleta é usada como táxi e contribui muito na redução de emissão de gases de efeito estufa.

Commendation: On behalf of our pioneer global initiative, I can confirm that thanks to the leadership of Mayor Manuel de Araújo, global cooperation and friendship are happening between the city of Quelimane and other cities. A real fact and example of this, is StartupCity Quelimane as new economic engine based on the first recycled bike factory in Africa and in the world. The public-private factory will be an accelerator for making the city of Quelimane the biking city of Africa in the coming years. The official kick-off was a few days after cyclone Freddy destroyed the city of Quelimane in March 2023. The factory is a collaboration between local public authorities, local business leaders, and academia. In the next years, the pragmatic business model will be based on donations of wasted bikes from cities where the city of Quelimane has relations all over the world. The launch of the factory is scheduled to be at the end of 2023.

Commendation: In June 2023, under the leadership of the Mayor of Quelimane, the city applied for the Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure, 366 cities applied, and the ten best cities were selected, Quelimane was selected as one of the winning cities. Therefore, from 2023 to 2025, $400.000 will be injected into Quelimane City to expand its cycling infrastructure, which aims to create a cycling infrastructure network to promote cycling among the most vulnerable people (women, children and the elderly).

Essay by Manuel de Araújo
(Full essay)

Quotes from Mayor de Araújo’s essay: “People of my city were used to their mayor using their tax, to buy rats back from them instead of providing them with a cleaner environment where rats could find no room. People in my city experienced high infant mortality rates due to poor sanitation conditions. People of my city had to live in neighbourhoods where an ambulance could not reach their homes in case of an emergency.

This is just to name a few of the conditions that existed. I looked back and decided that I wanted to be a light to them. As a single grain of salt, I was dropped in the municipal election race in 2011 and was elected Mayor of the city.

From that moment until now, I have introduced so many changes among which are:
• Organizing a waste management system
• Opening roads to connect neighbourhoods;
• Protecting the city’s infrastructure and marine life by reforesting the mangroves that were being devastated;
• Enhancing partnerships with different national and international organizations (creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and invest in my city)”.

My city has now been placed on international platforms and is known by those who sit on the table of Global Compact of Mayors, Milan Food Pact Policy (MFPP), International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). Our city has attended the COP18, COP…. you name it! FULL ESSAY

The City Mayors Foundation
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Tel: +44 20 8439 7978
The World Mayor Project was conceived in 2004 by the City Mayors Foundation to raise the profile of mayors worldwide and honour those who have contributed exceptionally to local and urban affairs. Mayors must carry out their duties selflessly and beyond reproach. The Project has no association with any city or organisation and is run on philanthropic lines. Any kind of revenue is NOT sought and will be rejected if offered. DETAILS

Winners of the World Mayor Prize since 2004: Edi Rama, Tirana (2004); Dora Bakoyannis, Athens (2005); John So, Melbourne (2006); Helen Zille, Cape Town (2008); Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico City (2010); Iñaki Azkuna, Bilbao (2012); Naheed Nenshi, Calgary (2014); Bart Somers, Mechelen (2016); Valeria Mancinelli, Ancona (2018); Ahmed Aboutaleb, Rotterdam (2021); Philippe Rio, Grigny (2021); Elke Kahr, Graz (2023) DETAILS