‘I Am The Ideal Mayor Of FCC’ Yvonne Aki-Sawyer
Since independence, Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown has seen the same looks and development in almost all aspects left by our colonial masters with little or no changes at all coming down to this 21st Century days where the world is fast growing.
This status quo is widely attributed to the lack of that one individual that has the passion for his or her country’s development in ensuring that the capital city gets the looks of other top cities in the world. Several Mayors have come and gone but yet still, the capital maintains the same old stories and question of who really can deliver this city from its aged-old looks?
As the search for answers to the problems of Freetown continues endlessly, there comes the answer, the redeemer and the iron lady in the person of Yvonne Aki Sawyer, the true daughter of Freetown that is willing to put country, especially Freetown, first above self and take the city to the promise land when given the opportunity.
Yvonne Aki Sawyer was born and bred in Freetown, a Finance Professional with a record of leading institutional change spanning from her early days as Head Girl of the St. Joseph’s Secondary School and throughout her 27 years career. She is both locally and internationally experienced who throughout her 27 years local and international experience has consistently demonstrated leadership and a willingness to serve.
Throughout her international career, Yvonne remained passionate about Sierra Leone as she campaigned against “Blood Diamonds” during the civil war. As a co-founder of the Charity SLWT, her organization has supported many disadvantaged children and young people in Sierra Leone for the past 18 years. She is also one of the owners and developers of the Hilton Freetown Cape Sierra Hotel. Aki Sawyer has invested her energy, know-how and resources in the capital’s future. She led an effective campaign to raise international awareness of the Ebola epidemic following which she herself relocated to Sierra Leone and served as Director of Planning at the National Ebola Response Center (NERC). She was awarded a Gold Medal by His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) by her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom in recognition of her work.
Back in Sierra Leone in January 2016, she was made Delivery Team Leader for the President’s Recovery Priorities, a nationwide program focusing on development initiatives in education, energy, governance, health, private sector, social welfare and water, that has been nationally and internationally acclaimed for its effectiveness and innovative approach to public service delivery and for the result it achieved. She also played a key role in the design and initial implementation of Operation Clean Freetown.
Yvonne’s interest in the Mayoral position of Freetown sounds victory for the aged-old city that has lagged behind for ages in terms of development and its looks. Her election to the coveted Mayor position will bring working collaboration with central government and the people of Freetown.
Her vision for the city is threefold including ‘For wi Community’ which will focus on primary and secondary healthcare and primary to mid-secondary education, improving waste management in the city and the provision of more affordable social housing and markets; ‘For wi Progress’ which represents a drive to provide Freetonians with sustainable jobs through skills development including adult education and a focus on improved public transport and road maintenance and ‘ For wi Freetong’ which seeks to capitalize on the natural beauty of our city and its potentials to become the place to be in West Africa by fostering civic responsibility and the achievement of development targets at ward level.
By Abdul R. Bedor Kamara
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