“I’m proud to join the OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth Initiative because cities have the capacity to innovate and test solutions that advance inclusive growth, directly affecting livelihoods and improving well-being. It is my hope that sharing Barranquilla’s experiences, as well as learning from other Champion Mayors from across the globe, will undoubtedly improve our arsenal of policy tools to tackle inequality and pave the way for more inclusive cities worldwide..”
– Mayor Jaime Pumarejo
Jaime Pumarejo was elected Mayor of Barranquilla in October 2019 and started his mandate in January 2020. He previously served as Secretary of Economic Development for the Atlántico state and as Counselor for Competitiveness and City Manager in Barranquilla. He was President of Puerta de Oro Caribbean Events Center. In 2017, he was appointed Minister of Housing of Colombia. Prior to his political career, he was selected by the multinational Ingersoll Rand to be part of its Leadership Development Program, where he held positions in the United States and Singapore. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Management at Purdue University, with a minor in management of information systems. He has a master’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance from IE Business School, Madrid. Mr. Pumarejo is an advocate for the socioeconomic inclusion of migrants and a proponent of high-impact public investments and large-scale urban regeneration projects. One of his flagship initiatives is to transform Barranquilla into a “BiodiverCity,” aiming to restore the city’s ecosystem by placing people at the center.
Barranquilla is a founding member of the #BiodiverCities network, which has achieved more than 100 cities signing the Declaration of Barranquilla. The network aims to prioritise environmental awareness, investment in nature-based solutions, and the financing of green and blue infrastructure in cities across Latin America. In 2023, Barranquilla will inaugurate its first ecopark “Cienaga de Mallorquin”, a 700-hectare mangrove and wetland ecosystem located within the city’s urban area.
The City of Barranquilla is investing to improve English skills among young people and offer them tools to connect them to entry-level jobs that pay roughly three times the Colombian minimum wage. With the Mayor’s Office “English for Work” initiative, 74% of people who complete the training program have been able to secure employment. This complements an additional effort to make all 154 public schools in Barranquilla fully bilingual by the end of 2023.
The City of Barranquilla uses a strategic plan “Soy Barranquilla” to stimulate inclusive growth. The Development Plan has 4 pillars: i) BiodiverCity (resiliency and environmental strategy), ii) Attractive and thriving (economic development strategy), iii) Connected (participatory strategy), iv) Equitable (inclusive access to social programs).