As mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr is committed to addressing her city's challenges using an inclusive, data-driven approach to urban development.

Why you should listen

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Order of British Empire (OBE) became Mayor of Freetown in May 2018 and dedicated herself to an inclusive vision of the city's renewal. Her three-year "Transform Freetown" plan details 19 concrete targets across 11 sectors and covers issues ranging from tackling environmental degradation to facilitating the creation of jobs in the tourism sector. 

Passionate about her country and the environment, Aki-Sawyerr campaigned against the trade in "blood diamonds" during the civil war in Sierra Leone and cofounded SLWT, a charity that has supported disadvantaged children for 20 years. A finance professional with more than 25 years of private sector experience in strategic planning and management, her public sector engagement began during the 2014 Ebola outbreak. As a leader in the wake of the epidemic, she drove the second phase of a multi-stakeholder program to energize Sierra Leone's socioeconomic recovery. She was awarded a gold medal by the president and an OBE by the Queen of England for her service.

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr’s TED talks

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