Dr Doma: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 May 2023:
Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyer has emerged as a transformative leader, bringing fresh perspective to the city of Freetown, Sierra Leone. Her tenure has been marked by a strong focus on strengthening international bonds, fostering resilience, and promoting cultural development.
One of Mayor Aki-Sawyer’s notable achievements is her dedication to fostering international partnerships and strengthening diplomatic ties. She has actively engaged with foreign embassies, high commissions, and international organizations to attract investments, secure funding for development projects, and promote Freetown as an attractive destination for tourism and business.
Through these efforts, she has successfully positioned Freetown on the global stage, opening doors for mutually beneficial collaborations and garnering support for the city’s development initiatives.
Mayor Aki-Sawyer has placed a strong emphasis on building resilience in Freetown, a city prone to environmental hazards such as flooding and landslides. Her administration has implemented comprehensive disaster management plans, investing in early warning systems, infrastructure improvements, and community engagement programs. These measures have significantly enhanced the city’s preparedness and response capabilities, minimizing the impact of natural disasters on the lives and livelihoods of Freetown’s residents.
Under Mayor Aki-Sawyer’s leadership, Freetown has witnessed notable progress in urban renewal and infrastructure development. The city has undergone a comprehensive transformation, with the rehabilitation of roads, construction of modern marketplaces, and improved waste management systems. These initiatives have not only improved the living conditions of Freetown’s residents but have also attracted investments and boosted economic activities, contributing to the overall economic growth of the city.
Recognizing the importance of culture in fostering identity and community cohesion, Mayor Aki-Sawyer has actively promoted cultural development in Freetown. She has spearheaded initiatives to preserve traditional arts, music, and dance forms while also encouraging contemporary artistic expressions.
The establishment of cultural festivals, art exhibitions, and cultural exchange programs has not only showcased Freetown’s rich cultural heritage but has also served as a platform for local artists to thrive and gain international recognition.
Mayor Aki-Sawyer has prioritized youth empowerment and education as key drivers of sustainable development. She has implemented programs aimed at improving access to quality education, vocational training, and employment opportunities for young people in Freetown.
By equipping the youth with the necessary skills and knowledge, she has empowered them to actively contribute to the city’s growth while fostering a sense of pride and ownership among the younger generation.
Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyer’s tenure as the mayor of Freetown has been marked by significant achievements in strengthening international bonds, resilience building, and cultural promotion. Her proactive approach in engaging with the international community, implementing measures for disaster management, revitalizing infrastructure, and fostering cultural development has brought about positive change in the city. Through her visionary leadership, Mayor Aki-Sawyer has laid a strong foundation for Freetown’s sustainable growth and positioned the city as a model for inclusive development, resilience, and cultural vibrancy.
Amongst her remarkable achievements includes the establishment of a Sister City International Partnership between Freetown and Charleston, South Carolina. Through collaboration and cultural preservation, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr has made significant contributions to the field of environmental conservation.
Preservation of Historical Ties (2019):
Mayor Aki-Sawyerr led the signing of the Sister City International Partnership agreement between Freetown and Charleston. This agreement facilitated the exchange of economic, tourism, civil, community, and academic programs between the two cities. It emphasized the sharing of best practices in resilience and sustainability, strengthening the commitment to environmental conservation on both sides of the Atlantic.
International African-American Museum (IAAM) Collaboration (2019):
Recognizing the historical connections between Freetown and Charleston, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr facilitated a collaboration with the IAAM and Charleston Sister Cities International. This collaboration aims to shed light on the stories of enslaved West Africans and their contributions to America’s development. By connecting Freetown’s Bunce Island and Charleston’s Gadsden Wharf, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr ensured that these shared histories are acknowledged and preserved.
Groundbreaking Ceremony for the IAAM (2019):
Mayor Aki-Sawyerr participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the International African-American Museum in Charleston. This ceremony marked the museum’s commitment to highlighting the experiences of enslaved West Africans and their lasting impact. Mayor Aki-Sawyerr’s presence and remarks emphasized the importance of cross-cultural dialogue and collaboration in preserving our shared heritage.
Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr’s visionary leadership has strengthened international bonds between Freetown and Charleston, fostering collaboration and cultural preservation. Through the Sister City International Partnership and collaboration with the IAAM, she has shown unwavering dedication to environmental conservation and recognition of shared historical ties.
Her efforts contribute not only to a more sustainable future but also serve as an inspiring example for global leaders and communities. Mayor Aki-Sawyerr’s commitment to strengthening international bonds for resilience and culture reminds us of the power of collaboration in addressing environmental challenges and building a more sustainable world.