Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 August 2022:
Last Friday, 19th August 2022, Mayor of Freetown – Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, had an engaging and inspiring encounter with hundreds of youths from across the country, who gathered at the National Youth Leadership Summit in Freetow where she delivered a powerful keynote address, calling on the young people of Sierra Leone to be peaceful and development focussed.
“I shared experiences from my youth days, recognized the many challenges that the youth face today; and I elaborated on the more than 2,000 sanitation and tree planting jobs created for young people in the capital, through the City Council’s TransformFreetown programme. I concluded that peace is the foundation for development and encouraged all the Youth Ambassadors to keep promoting peace,” she told the Sierra Leone Telegraph yesterday.
This summit comes in the wake of the Bloody Wednesday protests which took place in several districts of Sierra Leone two weeks ago, in reaction to the rising costs of living, and what many of the protesters described as rampant corruption in the government, abuse of State power, and the curtailing of civil liberty.
The protests saw scores of protesters killed and injured, along with at least four members of the security forces. There are calls for the president and his ministers to stop the political rhetoric and the increasing use of extra-juducial powers, retributive punishment and killing of opposition supporters suspected of taking part in the demonstrations.
Mayor Aki-Sawyerr’s engagement with youth leaders at the national summit last Friday is certainly a welcome development, and will go a long way in promoting peace and dialogue in the country at this difficult time, as ruling party operatives go on the offensive with deadly consequences.
You can watch Mayor Aki- Sawyerr speaking here: