Freetown City Council launches local Digital Town Halls

FCC Communications: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 January 2021:

Freetown City Council (FCC) is pleased to announce the launch of digital town halls across 30 wards in Freetown. Adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, the town halls will provide a digital platform for residents to gather and discuss the development priorities for their communities. (Photo above: Freetown Mayor – Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr).

Over 1,600 randomly selected property rate payers will have the opportunity to discuss and debate development priorities; have those views shared directly with the Mayor and Councillors, and then vote on a budget allocation of Le 15 million to address a specific problem in their ward.

A pilot digital town hall took place in Ward 422 in December 2020, during which residents voted to refurbish a section of road in their community.

Improvement works on the selected road will begin in the next couple of weeks. We thank all the residents of Ward 422 that engaged in this exciting process!

The digital town halls this year will provide FCC with experience to scale up participatory budgeting in future years.

Beginning in 2022, 20% of property rate revenue raised from each Ward from the previous year will be ring-fenced for allocation through this ‘citizen participatory budgeting digital town hall process’.

FCC is committed to transparently providing services and giving residents an opportunity to be directly involved in decision-making.

You can watch the video here:

6 Comments

  1. Never in the recent history of Sierra Leone have we had a Mayor of the capital city of Freetown who has practically displayed this kind of undiluted love for the city as Mayor Aki-Sawyer. Her predecessors were the run-of-the-mill type – no initiative and definitely no leadership qualities. They saw their position as the lifeline through which they could milk the city dry. They were driven through filthy streets to and from work, amidst the stench they gave off, but they did nothing about it.

    I have repeatedly asserted that Mayor Aki-Sawyerr is a woman in politics, not a girl, because she wants to do something for her nation’s capital city, not for herself. A girl would be the opposite. Little wonder why at a national level our country is making hardly any progress because the scene is dominated by boys and girls. The previous government led by Ernest Koroma is under siege to cough up monies which they stole. The current government led by Maada Bio is moving at break-neck speed in disappearing billions of Leones at government institutions.

    That is why I have always expressed how loathsome I find both SLPP and APC and would excessively love to bury them alive after gently keeping Mayor Aki-Sawyerr (APC), Dr Sylvia Blyden(APC) and Right Honourable Ngevao(SLPP) aside. These are the people who are fit for national office. The others are hungry leopards that we keep hiring to take care of our goats and sheep for sixty years and who have always reduced us to wailing. The only visible evidence of our missing livestock are the size of the stomachs of the leopards. But we never learn.

  2. Lovely, Mayor of Freetown Yvonne Aki Sawyer; and great seeing you on the front pages of this widely read and globally respected online Newspaper. May the almighty God guide, help and protect you for the good job you are doing for that great city of ours. By the way, Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyer’s excellent handling of her job and when Leone Stars wins a match, are the only things Sierra Leoneans will agree on. No divisiveness. Everyone concur and support. But any other thing is divisive amongst Sierra Leoneans. SAD.

    Thank God, that someone like Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyer exists to put a pause on partisan politics whenever something is written about her on this globally respected online Newspaper. The presidency – Madam the Mayor of Freetown. Think about that. Continue the good job my hero Mayor and may God bless you. Amen and Amen. Father God.

  3. Outstanding, democratic initiatives here by an over achieving mayor, governing in the midst of a continuance cloud of political intimidation, with budget withholdings from the central government. Continue the good work madam mayor, the good lord and the citizens of Freetown are on your side ma!

  4. Since Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyer was sworn in May 2018 she haven’t disappointed Freetonians that entrusted her with the power to look after their welfare. I wish the central government will take a leaf from her about the way things are done, and start to govern in the same way for the interest of all Sierra Leoneans. The challenges facing Freetown is enormous. Especially, she’s being in the trenches battling this government for more funding. The qualities of her leadership, and no nonsense approach to tackling the problems facing Freetown, had left her with admirers both in the municipality of Freetown, and international organisations.

    Her latest approach to bring government to the people by rolling out the interactive digital platform for residents to be given the chance to debate issues that affect them directly, ward by ward and come up with solutions, is an ingenious way of bringing democracy directly to the people. More like she is saying – tell me your problems and I will provide you with solutions. I don’t want to say she is” ALEXA” – that is stretching it too far. I think other Mayors around the country should look at what’s going on in Freetown, and see if they can replicate this idea to empower their communities. The more people are allowed to take part in democratisation, the more they feel they have a stake in their communities and how the decisions making process affect them.

    Right now the vast majority of Sierra Leoneans think their contribution towards the way their country is governed stops at the polling booth. The reality of course is that the wheels of democracy never stops. You don’t have to wait for five years to make your voice heard.

  5. Madam Sawyerr is a shining example of what a true leader should look like; She is an ever-progressing superstar that is making those hoodlums in State House look like ugly, incompetent hopeless dummies with potbellies.(lol)It is truly delightful to know that the legendary APC and the people of Freetown still have someone so pragmatic and down to earth in their corner. Its quite a thrill also to see that the days of mundane customary practices are slowly coming to an end because Madam Sawyerr has consistently openly displayed that she has the Midas touch that can quite easily transform uninteresting things into exhilarating lasting inspiring memories.

    Bravo lady, for the exceptional work you are doing; Ignore the corrupt Old soldier and his tribalistic innuendos and cowardly disparaging whisperings and remarks – keep your eyes focused on the goal and prize to be attained. A Stargazer – a Brook-fields Boy to the bone and marrow to the innermost core greatly appreciates you outstanding efforts.

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