Medellin Mayor, Antioquia Governor ‘Best in Colombia’
Medellin Mayor Anibal Gaviria (photo, above) and Antioquia Governor Sergio Fajardo took the top prizes for “Best Mayor” and “Best Governor” in all of Colombia for the period 2012-2015 in a competition organized by the non-profit organization, Colombia Lider.
Colombia Lider’s core leadership includes Findeter (the Colombian government’s development funding agency); Asobancaria (the Colombia banking trade association); magazine publisher Semana; and four private foundations: Fundación Saldarriaga Concha (whose board of directors includes industrial giant Grupo Orbis); Fundación Bolivar Davivienda (affiliated with national banking giant Davivienda); Fundacion Antonio Restrepo Blanco; and public-education advocate Fundacion Empresarios por La Educacion (EXE).
Coming in second to Medellin’s Gaviria was Barranquilla Mayor Elsa Margarita Noguera de la Espriella, while Luis Francisco Bohórquez Pedraza, Mayor of Bucaramanga, took third place.
The top award to Medellin’s Mayor comes on the heels of Colombia’s national planning department (DNP) finding that Medellin is the best-run city in Colombia (see Medellin Herald on November 24, 2015).
Fajardo Best Governor
Former Medellin Mayor Sergio Fajardo – who is now completing his four-year term as Governor of Antioquia this December – just won Colombia Lider’s national competition as the best performer among Colombia’s 32 departmental governors for the 2012-2015 period.
Fajardo earlier won Colombia Lider’s top ranking in 2007 as the best mayor in Colombia.
The top ranking came as the result of the Fajardo administration’s efforts to improve public education, health, security, citizen participation and technology access, according to Colombia Lider.
Both as Medellin Mayor and later as Antioquia Governor, Fajardo’s signature theme has been “La Mas Educada” (the most educated), which has featured the construction of scores of well-equipped public educational centers (mainly in poorer neighborhoods and small towns), and competitions rewarding educational excellence among public-school students.
Fajardo also earlier won first prize for transparency in government from Colombia’s government watch-dog agency (Procuraduria General).
Other leaders within Antioquia that won special recognition from Colombia Lider this year were the mayors of San Carlos, Caucasia and Amalfi.