Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 May 2022:
In my capacity as a member of the MMC Leadership Board, C40 Cities Vice Chairperson, founding member of the C40-MMC Global Mayors Task Force on Climate and Migration and co-lead of the Africa-Europe Mayor’s Dialogue, I am in New York participating in the IMRF.
Yesterday morning I started the day meeting with the MMC team to engage on the priorities of the organization and expectations for the deliberations over the next three days. One of our most significant successes to date is the establishment of the Global Cities Fund, a grant making body that provides funding for city interventions.
We are proud that Freetown was among the first grantees in December 2020; this funding enabled us to provide business training, 40 waste management tricycles and related equipment to 240 young people in our city.
This job creation intervention targets rural migrants and increases waste collection capacity. It is truly a lives changing #TransformFreetown intervention.
I also had the privilege yesterday of meeting with Madame Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. I briefed her about increasing rural-urban migration into Freetown and how the absence of development controls (land use planning and building controls) has exasperated the challenges of migration into the city.
I then joined partners, some of whom have already supported our city’s #TransformFreetown agenda, for a reception and private conversation. The reception was an opportunity to share the #TransformFreetown journey, focusing on the successes and areas where more support is needed.
Guests at the reception included the German Ambassador to the United Nations, representatives from ODI, Avenue Capital and the Atlantic Council.
I am pleased to continue to transparently promote Freetown internationally and to identify opportunities to finance more #TransformFreetown investment interventions in our city.
Once again Mrs Akin Sawyer have shown herself of taking up challenges where no one dares go .She understands the problems facing Sierra Leone is not only limited to Sierra Leone both Africa and the world.Thats is why good political leadership matters .She is more than qualify to be the president or the vice president of who ever is elected in the 2023 presidential election.She have proved her worth to her people .How do we as Africans turn off the tap of migration that have put our continents at a disadvantage over the global economic rat race?There are inherent pull and push factors that creates both national and international migration .These push and pull factors that caused people to migrate can be for economic inequality corruption , Sierra Leone , living under repressive regimes , Eritreia where conscription of young people in the army is legally binding, demographic imbalance , religious wars and kidnappings , Nigeria , Niger ,Mali , Central African Republic, political instability , Somalia, South Sudan, Dafur,Guinea , Boukina Fasso , Cameroon. And one of the greatest impact on why people are force to move from the rural areas to our African mega cities is climate change and seeking employment to improve their standard of living for themselves and their families through work , education and training.Apart from civil wars , and lack of economic opportunities for young people ,natural disaster like droughts and famines, have also played a huge part in creating waves of migrants from the rural to the urban .So what can African governments do to reverse this trend .Because let’s be honest majority of the people that are leaving the African continent and the ones that are coming to settle in our cities like Freetown,are young ,able , educated ,industrious, and dreamers that are capable to work in any part of the world and be productive.You have more Ghanaian medical doctors in the United States than their home country Ghana can afford .This brain drained is hurting Africa .Until African governments addressed the core issues that is the root cause of this migrant phenomena that has been going on for decades , chances are we will continue on loose out to our richer Northern Neighbours and the Americas , Australia and other parts of the industrial world .Most of our problems are made in Africa for Africans by” FAT CATS ” Corrupt politicians that has no interest to develope our natural resources rich continent.So turning the migration tap off from the continent will be an Almighty ask .