Yvonne Denise Aki-Sawyerr has declared her intention to be re-elected as Mayor of Freetown.
Aki-Sawyerr said: “On this International Women’s Day, I am pleased to announce that I am running for re-election as the Mayor of Freetown on 24th June2023.”
Yvonne Denise Aki-Sawyerr, OBE was born on 7th January 1968. She is a Sierra Leonean politician and finance professional, who served as Mayor of Freetown between 2018 and 2023 under the All People’s Congress (APC) Party.
Prior to becoming head of the Freetown City Council, Aki-Sawyer had worked extensively in the UK financial and professional services industry. She had also taken either pioneering or crucial roles in various charity and public service projects in the UK and Sierra Leone, including participation in the fight against Ebola in 2014 and the subsequent recovery initiatives.
Yvonne Denise Aki-Sawyerr is a member of Sierra Leone’s Creole ethnic group. She attended St. Joseph’s Secondary School in Freetown where she was head girl and Loreto House Captain.
She graduated with honours from Fourah Bay College in 1988 where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics. At university, she was active with AIESEC (the International Association of Students in Economics and Management) and she became the first African on AIESEC’s Brussels-based International Exchange Committee in 1988.
She earned a master’s degree in International Relations and Politics of the World Economy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In 1993, she received her certification from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Mayor Aki-Sawyerr is a Chartered Accountant, and has a private sector experience of over 25 years in roles such as providing strategic planning, project management, risk management, corporate governance and regulatory consulting services to high profile clients in the UK financial services industry.
She began working for professional services firm Arthur Andersen in 1990. She became the Investment Director of IDEA (Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award) in 2009, in which she was tasked for raising international finance to fund projects, and the management of local stakeholder groups.
Before vying for the top position at Freetown City Council, Aki-Sawyerr worked as a key member of the President’s Recovery Priorities (PRP), serving as delivery Team Lead, from January 2016 to October 2017.
PRP was the second phase of a multi-stakeholder programme aimed at driving sustainable socio-economic transformation in Sierra Leone after the Ebola crisis. She played a crucial role in the design and implementation of “Operation Clean Freetown” which was part of the PRP programme that focused on introducing a sustainable system of household waste collection in the city of Freetown.
Aki-Sawyerr has been the Mayor of Freetown since taking office on 11th May 2018 after winning a total of 309,000 votes representing 59.92% of the votes cast in the mayoral election.
She’s a member of the All People’s Congress (APC) political party – one of the two political parties, alongside the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), that have dominated Sierra Leone politics since independence from the United Kingdom.