Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 April 2023:
Former Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr who is up for re-election in two months, has been speaking about her five years in office which she describes as challenging, but with so much more left to be done for the development of Freetown as well as improving the lives of the City’s over two million people.
“My first term was marked by significant achievements as well as unprecedented challenges. As I share a brief video highlighting a few of those achievements, I am excited about what we will achieve together in my next term,” she said.
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE is the first elected female Mayor of Freetown and the first woman to lead the city after almost 40 years. Her election as Mayor of the country’s capital city and her inclusive, people-centred approach to leadership has inspired and continues to inspire many young girls and women in Freetown and across the country.
Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr established the YAS Girls Leadership Foundation in January 2022 because of her passion, commitment and desire to be deliberate and targeted in inspiring future female leaders and supporting them as they seek to navigate the challenges they face.
Sierra Leone ranks 155th of 162 countries in the 2019 Gender Inequality Index. According to UNICEF, females continue to fall significantly behind males in literacy rates. 43% of girls in Sierra Leone are married by the age of 18.
Adolescent girls in Sierra Leone face numerous challenges as they begin the transition to adulthood. Decisions on their education and their future can become a burden; making these life changing decisions are even more difficult due to the lack of female role models for girls to speak with and learn from.
The three ‘’Wings’’ needed to allow girls fly in accordance with the values of the YAS Girls Leadership Foundation are: Prioritize education; Persevere through challenges; and Self-belief.
The ultimate goal of the YAS Girl’s Leadership Foundation is to ensure that the women and girls who make up 51% of Sierra Leone’s population, can truly fulfil their potential and positively impact the development of Sierra Leone.
For more information and how you can help support the YAS Girls Leadership Foundation, please visit: