A unique offering for city leaders

We understand city leaders and believe that the future of Africa depends on their visionary leadership. We support participating leaders with an exclusive, tailored initiative to hone the visions for their cities through 3 key platforms:

The AMALI City Leadership Programme offers a year-long programme that supports mayors in honing the visions for their cities. The participating mayors gain clarity on the teams and tools required to successfully implement their plans and secure support from their constituents and key stakeholders. The programme begins with an immersive, four-day leadership forum at the University of Cape Town, followed by online workshop series and a reunion at the end of the programme.

The AMALI Urban Governance Research Lab provides mayors participating in the AMALI City Leadership Programme with synthesised data on their cities to support their transformation action plans.

The AMALI data programme provide participating mayors with technical assistance, access to experts, and other materials to help them enhance their use of data to deliver results that matter to residents.

AdvisorS and Mentors

Jamie Cooper

Co-chair of the AMALI advisory board
Founder and President of Big Win Philanthropy

Edgar Pieterse

Co-chair of the AMALI advisory board
Founding Director of the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town

Arkebe Oqubay

Advisory board member
Senior Minister, Ethiopia; Professor of Practice, SOAS University of London and University of Johannesburg; and Former Mayor of Addis Ababa


Awa Marie Coll Seck

Minister of State to the President of the Republic of Senegal; Former Minister of Health, Senegal




Hastings Chikoko

Advisory board member
Managing Director of Regions & Mayoral Engagement and Regional Director for Africa, C40 Cities

Idris Jala

Advisory board member
Chairman PEMANDU Associates. Co-Chairman Sunway, ProChancellor Sunway University, Chairman Heineken Msia, Former Minister Malaysia Government, Former CEO Msia Airlines.

James Anderson

Advisory board member
Head of Government Innovation programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies; Former Communications Director to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, United States of America


Kivutha Kibwana

Advisory board member
Former Governor of Makueni County, Kenya; Former Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya





Luísa Dias Diogo

Advisory board member
Former Prime Minister of Mozambique; Former Deputy Minister of Planning and Finance, and Former Minister of Planning and Finance, Mozambique

Mamphela Ramphele

Advisory board member
Co-president of the Club of Rome; Chair of Desmond Tutu IP Trust; Former Vice Chancellor of University of Cape Town; Former Managing Director at the World Bank

Enrique Penalosa

Advisory board member
Former Mayor of Bogota from 1998 – 2001 and 2016–2019. Fellow of the Institute for Urban Research of the University of Pennsylvania.

Vera Songwe

Advisory board member
Chair of the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility; Co-chair of the High-Level Panel on Climate Finance; Former Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa

Wanjira Mathai

Advisory board member
Managing Director, Africa and Global Partnerships, World Resource Institute



Amollo Ambole

AMALI director
Inaugural program director of AMALI at Big Win Philanthropy; Honorary research associate at the African Centre for Cities


Amy Weimann

Research officer
Research lead – AMALI Urban Governance Research Lab, African Centre for Cities



Babette Safougne

Post-doctoral fellow
Researcher – AMALI Urban Governance Research Lab, African Centre for Cities

Martin Magidi

Post-doctoral fellow
Researcher – AMALI Urban Governance Research Lab, African Centre for Cities



Ulpha Ismail

AMALI project coordinator
African Centre for Cities 




Warren Smit

Research manager
Research manager – AMALI Urban Governance Research Lab, African Centre for Cities




AMALI is a partnership between the African Centre for Cities (ACC) and Big Win Philanthropy.
ACC is an interdisciplinary hub at the University of Cape Town with a mandate to conduct meaningful research on how to understand, recast, and address pressing urban crises. ACC is recognized globally as a leading institution for urban research in Africa with a decade-long track record of promoting a Southern perspective on the future of cities.
Big Win Philanthropy has deep experience developing leadership programs, having co-developed the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program held at Harvard University, and the Amujae Initiative hosted by the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development. Big Win also provides direct support to heads of state and public leaders across Africa who are pursuing transformational change.
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 700 cities and 150 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world.

Amali Inaugural Forum highlights