Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 3 May 2022:
Last Thursday 28th April I was in The Hague, Netherlands where I had the honour of delivering the Keynote Address to the Draper Richards Kaplan (DRK) Foundation International Retreat.
Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation is the largest Venture Philanthropy in the United States. Borrowing from a venture capital legacy they find, fund and support social impact enterprises from Asia, Africa and Europe with exceptional leadership and innovative ideas that can scale.
In my keynote address I spoke about my journey from the private sector to public service, driven by my desire to protect the environment and to #TransformFreetown, and about my commitment to making a difference in the lives of Freetonians.
I emphasized the importance of teamwork and that so much more is achieved when an inclusive, collaborative and data driven approach is adopted and when technology is harnessed.
I spoke about remaining resilient in the face of challenges which will inevitably be faced by anyone seeking to make meaningful changes and encouraged the entrepreneurs to believe in their visions and to keep pressing on.
Among the 40 social impact entrepreneurs who were at the Retreat, 20 operate in Africa and two (Last Mile Health and Seed Global Health) already operate in Sierra Leone. With the latter, we had an opportunity to discuss expanding their current investments in the Freetown health sector.
And for those not yet operating in Sierra Leone, I have begun conversations for bringing specific sanitation, education and technology enterprises to Freetown.
One such engagement with Imagine Worldwide will strengthen our existing School Cluster Mentorship programme and compliment literacy and maths learning in the 519 participating primary and JSS schools.
At FCC we keep working to join the dots, scale solutions and make a difference in addressing the challenges faced by our city as we strive to #TransformFreetown!