Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 June 2022:
On Monday, 14 June 2022, I was hosted by Mayor Corine Mauch of the City of Zurich. We concluded negotiations and the preparatory stage for the Freetown-Zurich ‘City-2-City Cooperation’ (C2CC) and simultaneously launched the implementation phase of the Freetown Central Business District (CBD) Regeneration Project.
This CHF2.5m (approximately $2.5m) grant spread over five years will enable the Freetown City Council to regenerate the Central Business District (CBD) by:
- improving pedestrian walkways
- introducing controlled parking zones
- installing solar street lighting
- establishing green spaces.
FCC has been collaborating with relevant MDAs (Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Transport, SLRA and SLRSA) in the planning phase of the Freetown CBD Regeneration project and we look forward to that collaboration continuing in the implementation phase.
The Zurich City Council has, through an international competitive process, selected UNOPS as its Cooperation Partner to facilitate the works and act as fiduciary agent for Zurich City Council.
The Freetown CBD Regeneration Project will visibly transform the heart of our city and move us further along on our collective journey to #TransformFreetown.
I am very excited about reaching this milestone and thank Mayor Mauch for personally selecting Freetown as the first city to benefit from the C2CC initiative funded by the tax paying residents of the City of Zurich.
May I use this opportunity to encourage Freetonians to pay your property rates, business licenses and local taxes so that we each make our contribution to #TransformFreetown!
Transforming Freetown is a wonderful dream. But I personally believe that we have to start with transforming the mindsets of some of our citizens of Freetown about basic hygiene whilst simultaneously implementing these developmental projects. Filthiness is now endemic in some sections of the city, so our stakeholders should first try to trace the root cause or origin of the problem before they can find a solution. We have to put politics aside when it comes to cleaning the city. Kudos to our Mayor for her positive engagements, but this problem is bigger and older than her, and should be collaborated with the central government. Consistent Civic education will be a starter and should include us in the diaspora.
The first attraction for tourists visiting Freetown will be cleanliness before food, drinks and cultural music.
It will be “Politically incorrect” to point fingers, but as Sierra Leoneans we know the origin of this problem,and unless we are willing to have an honest discussion, Freetown will continue to be rated as one of the filthiest city in our region. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”.
Devastated…I must have dozed through!!
The city of Zurich must first formally apologize for its role in the forced transportation of kidnapped Africans during the period of the transatlantic slave trade. If Aki Sawyerr has not addressed the role of Zurich in the forced migration of her ancestors…I’m afraid she has no business in City Hall.