World Mayor 20/21

Freetown mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone, since 2018
World Mayor Nominations 2021
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone

The 20/21 World Mayor Prize and Commendations will be conferred on mayors who have been showing leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic and who are now aiming to make their cities more resilient economically, structurally, socially and environmentally. In fact: Stronger | Fairer | Greener. The organisers of the World Mayor Project are looking for mayors who have shown exceptional leadership skills but also, and more importantly, acted at all times with compassion towards those most affected by Covid-19. The pandemic has shown how vulnerable even the richest cities are when confronted with a disaster like Covid-19. Forward-looking city leaders will now begin to re-think how their communities can be better protected against future threats, both natural and man-made.

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone, has been shortlisted for the 2021 World Mayor Prize.


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WORLD MAYOR 2021
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Nominations for
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr
Mayor of Freetown (Sierra Leone)


Nominated by Isata K., Freetown:
As recently as 2018 I couldn’t think of anything more difficult than being a woman in politics in Sierra Leone. Then comes Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown as a woman, working as a women in politics, with an opposition government! You may only imagine, what she has had to face, but we have seen it first hand.

This is where as women, all our super powers must be in high alert everyday: the nurture, the care; the intuition and the strategy; the daily fire fighting as well as the long term visioning.
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr has demonstrated it all, and, with such grace even for those who constantly attack her. As a public official your life is under a daily microscope and you must constantly be on your toes.

She has balanced her daily assignments and her long term plans well, while managing her personal career with the care for the inhabitants of Freetown, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Of course, with her first hand experience of having assisted in running the Ebola response, we expected government to leverage such great first hand experience. Establishing the innovation of rainwater harvesting systems is not just great for Covid-19 response, it’s a way forward to a permanent solution for potable water in Freetown. Congratulations!


Nominated by Mohamed J., Freetown:
The reason why I want her worship the Mayor of our capital city Freetown to win is because of the difference she has created since she was elected. Her worship the Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyer tells us Sierra Leoneans that a woman can indeed make a different. Having made needed changes in our city #Transform Freetown is effective compared to previous Mayors.


Nominated by Digger M. Freetown:
My vote goes to Her Worship Yvonne Aki-Sawyer for her vision and untiring efforts to transform our great capital city, Freetown.

Freetown used to be tagged as the filthiest city in Afica, but under her leadership this is no longer the case despite the lack of support from the central government - which is of another political party. Winning this competition will add more grease to her elbow and spur her to greater achievements.


Nominated by Winston A., Freetown:
I vote for Mayor Aki Sawyer to be World Mayor 2021. She is hard working. She had fabulous plans to transform Freetown health wise with proper measures in place. She has been enforcing Covid 19 regulations to the letter as a result controlling the spread.


Nominated by Adams B., Freetown:
I’ll like to vote for the Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyer. Just within a short space of time on assuming office, this lady has done a tremendous job in not just transforming the Capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown but played a pivotal role to help stem the spread of Coronavirus when it hits Sierra Leone! Her flood mitigation strategy has been one of envy! Over the last decade; Freetown has been a hell zone for flooding year in year out. But in the last three years when Mayor Aki-Sawyer came to office she’s done a tremendous job to help save lives and properties in Freetown. For these and many more, I vote for her.


Nominated by Rabbi R.K., Freetown:
I will start off by saying that I never supported Yvonne's bid for Mayor of Freetown. I supported Madina Rahman. 

But on her winning the party symbol, we worked together in the campaign for the 2018 multi tier elections. Yvonne visited my Constituency twice during the campaign and we traversed my hilly Constituency at walk speed of 10 miles an hour. My Constituency is 80% urban. 

Fast forward, Yvonne upon becoming the Mayor, put a team to transform Freetown. Unlike her predecessors who believed that they are the ones to be seen, Yvonne believes in team work and brought people from all works of life - professionals to grassroots - and formed a team that is charged with transforming Freetown. 

We now have a cleaner Freetown than before albeit the population keeps increasing 

We now have a data that shows every house in Freetown

We see a Mayor thriving in the midst of opposition. Even when central government is reluctant to release funds for devolved programs to the Council, Yvonne keeps thriving

She inherited huge debts in billions of Leones including non payment of staff for over 5 months. Amidst opposition, she settled all of that

She succeeded in locking the leakages at Council. Today, FCC is ranked the lead Council in transparency and accountability, with emphasis on the respect and regard for systems and procedures

As a result, Yvonne deserves to be World Mayor - a woman in opposition in an impoverished nation. 


Nominated by Mohammed G., Freetown:
I'm here today voting for the mayor for Freetown city. Aki SAWYERR. 

She has provided key leadership role in combating the Corona pandemic here in Freetown by engaging communities and local setting telling them the disadvantages of the virus and the hazard it has caused us as a nation. She has also contributed hugely in fighting against corruption and the rights for a health city. 

In a her tenure as mayor, she has structure the city admist the flooding that used to killing many people and displaced people for the past yes we see this end drastically in her tenure. 

She is also against tribal sentiment, nepotism which she believes hinder the development of any country. Mayor, Aki SAWYERR has helped construct schools, build institutions for the youths that lack the resources to attain university education. 
 She has put mechanism in place that will benefit the city for over years we will be living here peacefully and with security guarantee for us all. 

I have more to write about here but that will be in due course or sequsent write up.


Nominated by Sulaiman K., Freetown:
I am voting from Freetown Sierra Leone. Mayor Aki Sawyerr is a transformational leader who helped her country beat Ebola as part of the government delivery team. She used that knowledge in helping her country remain free of COVID19 with Freetown recording fewer cases than many cities in Africa. She has tried to make freetown a develop oriented city and has shown extra ordinary leadership in a country dominated by men in governance. Infact she belongs to the opposition party and finding support difficult to find her projects. But yet she’s able to navigate through.


Nominated by Mustapha F., Freetown:
Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyer has brought a lot of change in Freetown with her sanitation initiative with inspection and monitoring in the sanitation development.
Transform Freetown program
Floor mitigation
Revenue mobilization
Quick response to disaster in the city 
Digitalization of the council


Nominated by G., Freetown:
She is the best Mayor ever. Hard working, compassionate, resilient, honest, likable knowledgeable and patience, even when she is bullied, dehumanised,gender discrimination from some of her fellow citizens . It takes more than courage to be the Mayor of Freetown. Therefore, she deserves to be nominated as the Mayor of the world. Even the highest office necessary


Nominated by Joya J., outside Sierra Leone:
I Believe Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyerr From Freetown Sierra Leone should win Mayor of the year Award because she Exemplifies in everything she does. She has just completed a new City Hall. In her City Freetown she has the lease cases of Covid -19. The few they have she has been instrumental in eradicating the Virus. She is very informative. She stays on top everything in the city. She is the first Mayor to build day care close to the market were the women are able to drop off their children whilst they do business or trade. She is exceptional.


Nominated by Fela A., Freetown:
Yvonne is an opposition mayor in a ruling party enclave working in a really challenging environment. Despite procedural and physical challenges to her office and her person, Yvonne has achieved a cleaner and healthier Freetown with more sustainable sources of income for the local government and modernised systems. There is a lot more to do but public officials like Yvonne give us hope that it can happen.


Nominated by Martin T., Freetown:
Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr's achievements as Mayor of Freetown deserve the highest recognition. Since her election in 2018, she has made it her priority to address the City‚s socio-economic and environmental vulnerabilities. Through inclusive strategic planning, collaboration and strong leadership she has improved dramatically the lives of Freetown‚s citizens, through an ambitious programme of transformation. Known as #TransformFreetown, the Mayor has driven 11 priority sectors, grouped in to four sectors ˆ Resilience, Human Development, Healthy Cities and Urban Mobility.  That she has made so many advances in these areas, in the midst of the COVID 19 Pandemic (in which Freetown is the epicenter), is testament to her personal drive and commitment to Freetown‚s Citizens.

By early April 2020, even before the outbreak had established itself in Sierra Leone, the Mayor had devised a comprehensive COVID 19 Preparedness and Response Plan, centred on the three pillars of Behavioural Change (hand-washing, mask wearing, social distance), Behavioural Change Support (eg provision of water, masks, additional space in markets) and support to Isolation and Containment (provision of isolation centres, quarantine food support). The Mayor's early vision in implementing these measures were inspired by her prior leadership role in fighting Ebola. This undoubtedly saved lives and protected livelihoods in a city in which increasing population growth is already placing significant pressure on the environment, housing and sanitation infrastructure.

Perhaps even more impressive is the Mayor's commitment to address today's most pressing problem: climate change. As part of her Transform Freetown Agenda, she addresses the reduction of emissions towards carbon neutrality and supports the city's adaptation to the already visible effects from rising temperatures, such as droughts, floods and rising sea levels, which are impacting particularly the most vulnerable. With her personal engagement and professional dedication, she is not only guiding Freetownians onto a sustainable and green trajectory, but she is also becoming an ambassador of change at the international level.

At the end of 2019, Freetown became a C40 member city. Mayor Aki-Sawyerr and her team believe cities are critical to deliver a climate safe future and that local actions can have an immediate effect which combine to create national and global effects. She has committed Freetown City Council to Deadline 2020 , thereby to the Race to Zero as well as the Race to Resilience. In light of these commitments and in order to strengthen Freetown's resilience and reduce emissions by 2050 in the wake of climate change, the Freetown City Council is embarking on a journey to Climate Action Planning. This plan will not only identify future actions and pathways but also highlight already ongoing adaptation and mitigation efforts such as the FreetowntheTreetown initiative, whereby over the course of two years the city of Freetown plans to plant 1 Million trees, disaster risk reduction efforts at Ward level, the identification and implementation of plastic recycling initiatives and the integration of such within a broader waste management strategy for the city as well as the development of a cable car system introducing green transport options.

As such, mayor Aki-Sawyerr's climate work is cutting across all sectors of the Transform Freetown Agenda as she adopts multi-stakeholder approaches incorporating governmental, civil society and private sector stakeholders within Sierra Leone and beyond at the international level.

Challenges for Freetown:
Strong leadership and personal example
Collaboration between national and local government
Green spaces and renewable energy
Good governance, and regulatory environment that rewards and encourages.


Nominated by Haja B. J. Freetown:
I came to applaud Madam Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr's selfless sacrifice for her country since the days of the Ebola epidemic fight in Sierra Leone and I cannot be blind to her exemplary and stellar performance since that time till date.

Yvonne as a Mayor of the Freetown city is a result of her passion in finding solutions to the numerous problems the city is challenged with by ensuring a transformed city. I solidly support Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr and I do believe with her #TransformFreetown initiative, the lives of Freetownians will become better, and thus she deserves my vote.


Nominated by Sallieu K., Freetown:
As the first female mayor of the municipality who has surpassed in recognising problems outlined in her Transform Freetown Initiative, Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE is increasing literacy in informal settlement and disable groups which enhance beneficiaries with literacy tool for more effective local responsibility. Yet, her track record expresses her story better than I can.

Challenges for Freetown:
According to UNESCO, literacy is defined as one’s ability to read and write a short simple statement about their everyday life. In 2018, the average world literacy rate was 86%, while Sub-Saharan Africa’s was just 67%. Sierra Leone has a literacy rate of 43%, with 58% of the male population being literate, compared to 42% of the female population and 63% of persons with disabilities have never attended school.

I believe Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr’s Transform Freetown Initiative cluster, Human Development cluster seeks to solve this problem in communities.


Nominated by Ibrahim S. Freetown:
Aki-Sawyerr was very active even before Sierra Leone recorded it first Covid-19 case. She went all around the municipality (especially markets) and installed water tanks with soap for washing of hands. She has mobilized her council's police to make sure that Freetownians wear masks. She has been organizing inter community cleaning competition just to make sure that communities within the municipality are clean. If Freetown is clean to this level that it is today it is because of her. If Freetown has this low count of covid-19 cases it is because of measures being put in place by her.

Challenges for Freetown:
Creating more affordable housing.
Decongestion as it helps keep the city and communities around the city clean.
Construction of good roads within the city which will help reduce traffic within the city.
Also encouraging the planting of trees.


Nominated by Yvonne W., outside Sierra Leone:
Unifying the city across party lines. Focused on infrastructure building, beautification and sustainability. Approachable, committed visionary leader.  Foster partnership with the US, becoming a sister city to Charleston, South Carolina, improving education and pride.


Nominated by George M., Freetown:
Madam Yvonne Aki- Sawyerr was also part of the EU climate diplomacy work , which aimed to raising awareness on the climate. It was on the 10th October 2020.Her worship also launched the Freetown city council installation of 500 streets bins at her Wallace Johnson street .That took place on the 9th February 2019 .She also launched the construction of 5000 affordable housing units on the 18th August 2019.

Challenges for Freetown:
Well my ideas for a stronger cities i want to see that mayor take all street traders from street and also for our fairer cities i want everyone who is selling must pay for a street trading and also pay our housing city rate .I want to see more trees be planted to make city looks mush greener that ever before .


Nominated by Eleanor T., Freetown:
In 2020, under Mayor Aki-Sawyerr’s leadership, the Freetown City Council introduced a new property tax system to ensure the more equitable payment of property taxes while increasing the city‚s revenue generating potential exponentially. Unfortunately, additional procedural hurdles put in place by the central government, which also shares the capital city of Freetown as its seat of power, has delayed the implementation of the new system. In spite of budget allocation and revenue generation challenges throughout 2020 at a time when COVID-19‚s economic impact was being felt by the world, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr ensured the distribution of 90,000 locally produced masks and 100 hand washing stations in markets and embarked on a market restructuring project to ensure that Freetonians would still have access to essential goods while keeping safe. She also established a crèche/nursery for market sellers so that their livelihood activities would not be disrupted because of childcare responsibilities and the children would have a safe environment to learn and play.

During the pandemic, the FCC maintained efforts to ensure a clean and healthy environment with the flood mitigation exercise that had been initiated from her first year in office. The significance of this in Freetown may not be immediately apparent to the outsider. Every year during the torrential downpours of the rainy season, the city suffers devastating floods and there are usually fatalities and complete loss of homes and property, especially in the low-lying slum communities throughout the city. Apart from the tragic nature of this every year, having floods wipe out what little many had and were hanging on to during the economic downturn during the COVID pandemic would have been devastating. Flood mitigation helped avert large disasters in 2020.

During 2020, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr also used the opportunity to promote a clean healthy environment and fight the adverse effects of massive deforestation in the city by pushing forward the FCC’s ‘Freetown the Tree Town’ initiative to build environmental resilience by planting at least 50,000 (based on my knowledge and calculations) trees in the city. Sierra Leone is notoriously known as the 3rd most vulnerable country in the world to climate change and our capital city, Freetown, has been an example of that with mudslides and the massive flooding referred to above. In addition to ensuring a disaster-free environment to not compound the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, having trees and outdoor spaces where people can get oxygen and breathe clean air is important when dealing with a respiratory virus.

Finally, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr led the Freetown City Council‚s production of an animated mini series called ‘Rona & Bola’, which in a fun and engaging way shows the differences between COVID-19 and Ebola while reinforcing key COVID-19 prevention messages. Especially as the second wave of COVID-19 hit, this mini series has been instrumental to reminding Freetonians (and Sierra Leoneans more broadly) to remain vigilant in a way that they understand by drawing on their understanding and experience during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.


Nominated by Annipha S., Freetown:
As a female mayor who excels in identifying problems and finding solutions, Ms. Aki-Sawyerr has saved Freetown a considerable amount by speeding up project execution, which has led to flood prevention, pollution to the environment, which has yielded a healthy life with immense drop in the disease rate as compared to preceding rates. However, her track record tells her story better than I can.

Challenges for Freetown:
Taking my childhood as an example, I have always admired walkable and bikeable neighbourhoods because they were friendly to walkers and yielded inhabitants (such as myself) good health and long life. To say the least, my idea for a fairer and stronger city is for inhabitants to have access to several health, environmental, and even economic benefits such as unpolluted water supply, an environment that improves mood, boosts energy and combats diseases; quality levels of education, on the family unit and on employment levels.


Nominated by Mariama C. T., Freetown:
I strongly support mayor Yvonne, because she has been working hard to transform Freetown into a beautiful city that we are all proud of. She has been visiting slums areas, combating flooding, and greatly support the government effort in sensitizing the people of Freetown the precautionary measures to avoid COVID-19 and be safe. With all her support to see the lives of Freetownians better I believe she deserve my vote.

Challenges for Freetown:
I believe to have a greener and safer city we must avoid deforestation. That has has been our major challenge in Africa, and it is leading to disaster such as flooding and global warming. We must practice the habit of planting trees in our environments to reduce disasters and protect our environment.


Nominated by George M., Freetown:
Madam Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr is a chartered accountant by profession. However she was to first female mayor. In the 2018 elections she won her mayoral ticket under the All People's Congress (APC) and became the first female since the war ended in 2002. Under her leadership she was able to mobilized the revenue for the central pillar target of increasing tax revenue to five - fold from Le 7 billion to Le 35 billon for the central government. Also with her team within the valuation on property she was able to work on pilot project carried out jointly by the IGC of reform Freetown .In 2016 she was part of a large post -Ebola recovery programs. This project aimed to (reduce) the risk of Epidemics by improving soil.


Nominated by Olabisi T., outside Sierra Leone:
Mayor Aki-Sawyerr and I went to the same grade school. From then she has shown leadership skills that indicated that she would one day become an exemplified leader. I try to go home every year and since she was Mayor, she has galvanized the citizens of Freetown in a sustainable program of cleanliness. Among other things, she has implemented a trash pick up program, which provided jobs for the youths, the planting of trees to beautify Freetown and sustain a clean environment, and I know that she is in the process of implementing a taxation plan to support ongoing activities in Freetown.


Nominated by Marion B. G., outside Sierra Leone:
She is a hard working lady with a vision for the city of Freetown to be structured, livable, clean, and accessible for the people of Sierra Leone. When she took over the city, the city was in shambles. She encouraged the residents of Freetown to get involved in keeping the city clean and protecting the natural resources like the trees and rivers. During the covid-19 pandemic, she mandated mask wearing and social distancing through out the city. She is hard working, efficient, honest, sociable, organized, and a team player.

Challenges for Freetown:
Plant more trees
Stop cutting the trees
Keep the city clean
Keep the rivers clean
Provide clean energy


Nominated by John F. S., Freetown:
I appreciate her tireless effort in transforming Freetown from the days of poor sanitation and other social amenities that the city has being yeaning for.

Reommendations for Stronger | Fairer | Greener cities:
Cities Can be Stronger/Fairer/Greener if the following are put in place;
1.Minimis the interference of seating in the operations of the council
2. Strengthen partnership with other concern organizations
3. Sensitization, Education on city planning, laws and other measures to maintain sanitary
4.Strenthen all Municipal Schools within the city.


Nominated by Frances P. C., Freetown:
Mayor Aki-Sawyerr has contributed immensely to the transformation of Freetown including the strives towards the reduction of maternal and infant mortality. She recently contributed to the winning of an award that will help Postgraduate training of Specialist Paediatricians and Obstetrician / Gynaecologists that will lead to the improvement of service delivery and ultimately reduction in maternal and infant mortality in Freetown and Sierra Leone as a whole.
Challenges for Freetown:
Tree Planting and compulsory flower garden in the city


Nominated by Chris, Freetown:
Her majesty, Yvonne Aki Swayerr upon assuming office develops transform Freetown strategy. This strategy has 3 phases.
1. Is to ensure all the drainages are clean and there are no blockages which were the cause of flooding during the raining season
2. There is now a garbage collection plan, where garbage is collected from the residents of Freetown and they pay so that the streets are not littered and the garbage reaches the dump site.
3. Beautification of the city where flowers are planted and street lighting installed including solar lights


Nominated by Michael I. K., Freetown:
Mayor has been very diligent and has exhibited lots of leadership in terms of combating covid19. As a matter of fact, she has been able to engage the media robustly in ensuring that key messages are seen and heard in all local languages. That has eased the spread of the virus. It has enabled people to become more cautions and vigilant


Nominated by Madonna A. J., outside Sierra Leone:
She and her staff have been on the ground, radio and television, constantly educating and reinforcing the message of wearing masks, washing of hands and not congregating outside. Since she came into office, she has been educating and enforcing cleanliness in the community. Prizes for the best kept area. Planting of free trees in schools and communities. Use of recycling programmes.


Nominated by Abdulai B., Freetown:
The best Mayor I have ever seeing in my city. Very developmental. A Mayor for all!


Nominated by Samuel M. J., outside Sierra Leone:
She is supported by my former President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. I believe in the judgment of Madam Sirleaf-Johnson. So I vote this way.

Challenges for Freetown:
Reduce the use of fossil fuels to the barest minimum. Promote use of renewable energy. Plant trees; halt charcoal burning in the city.


Nominated by Ahmid C. J., Freetown:
In less than 3 years in the role, residents of Freetown are already calling her the Best Mayor in the history of the city. Aki-Sawyerr is a development enthusiast with a proven track record of leading development initiatives across the globe. Now that she is the mayor, she has localized her vision of a better world through her transform Freetown agenda where has already delivered key performance indicators in the areas of waste management, tax collection, urban mobility, environmental sustainability etc.

Amongst many of her brilliant ideas, I can choose the Freetown, the Treetown campaign as one of the most understanding. This is an initiative to plant and grow 1 million trees to combat the impact of climate change, restore biodiversity loss and help to stabilize the upper catchment areas across selected communities in Freetown. This project has also provided awareness on environmental sustainability, provided jobs for young people, and with many fruits planted, it will surely provided livelihood for many future generations.

Summarily, Aki-Sawyerr is a gold jewel here in Freetown, despite all the political and gender constraints, she keeps delivering values for her people. No wonder she is so loved here. Her beautiful smile is a reflect of her good intentions for the people she is so proud to serve Freetownians.

I believe all mayors in this list are deserving but Aki-sawyer is the most deserving when the consider the level of sacrifice and passion in service.

Challenges for Freetown:
As a 27-year climate change activist living here in Freetown, I am working on an initiative to transform organic waste to organic manure. This will help to solve the landfill problem, smokes and all other unhygienic crisis associated with dumping of waste in Freetown. It will also provide jobs for young people.


Nominated by Samuel B. V., Sierra Leone:
Mayor Aki Sawyer is a dedicated and hardworking person that loves the county and always work towards Development

Challenges for Freetown:
Development should not be based on any political ideas but making sure that Essen services are provided and enjoyed by all


Nominated by Richard B., Freetown:
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE was sworn in May 2018 with a commitment to transform the city of Freetown using an inclusive, data-driven approach to address challenges in the city. The 3-year ŒTransform 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.

Challenges for Freetown:
My city has suffered many disasters which are attributed to climate change as a result of human activities before now it used to be a very beautiful city surrounded by mountains and trees. Growing trees is our only hope for a cleaner and safer community, trees are not only to be planted but should be cared for and grown, my idea is if every tree if every tree had someone looking after it then it will cannot just be cut down or destroyed.


Nominated by David J. A., Freetown:
Am supporting the Mayor of Freetown for this position of her strong passion for Climate Change, protection and management of the environment through the Transform Freetown project.

Secondly, her interest in a foresting the deforested areas in the Western Area of our country, and especially the several projects she is implementing through community structures in averting the frequent of flash floods that usually destabilise the city in every rainy season. As a result of this projects most these floods have minimize since she started those projects. In light of the above I will request on to every Sierra Leonean to vote for her.

Challenges for Freetown:
Like the current projects implemented by the Freetown City Council, Transform Freetown and Freetown the Tree Town to name a few a key to address the above questions.

The Freetown the Tree Town project, which am part of as community base organization is highly contributing so many issues raging from disaster, economic, social and deforestation that has been affecting the living standards of the inhabitants of the capital city.

My organization is in full collaboration with the Freetown City Council and it's partners in ensuring that the dreams of the Mayor, Yvonne Akin Sawyerr comes to reality and citizens benefit from them all.


Nominated by Golga F., Freetown:
Since Mayor Yvonne entered office in 2018, she has worked hard to create positive changes in Freetown. Her initiative to create a greener Freetown included the monthly community based cleaning day which had a large impact on all of its citizens.

Moreover, her commitment to transform Freetown using an inclusive, data-driven approach to address challenges in the city is very community-oriented. Residents of Freetown have an opportunity to active help plant and grow their own trees for a greener future. Her vision for a greener Freetown ties into traditional practices among many in the country. Thus it brings the people together. This gives a sense of ownership and pride to every Sierra Leonean that wishes to create a more sustainable city.

This was effective in building trust and establishing a sense of unity which also helped to bring a quick response to the corona pandemic in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. She immediately launched health promotion campaigns in krio and used channels that would spread awareness and knowledge to everyone.

Challenges for Freetown:
My ideas for a greener Freetown is to incorporate health in all policies and sectors in Sierra Leone. All major leaders must unite to discuss a holistic approach to creating a more sustainable and environmentally friendly city.


Nominated by JAB, Freetown:
The Mayor of Freetown ss a selfless Lady! Her fear and trust in God has led her this far as one of the most distinguished Ladies in our Society and outside of Sierra Leone!! Her word is her bond, no matter the obstacles which have been abundant she has never given up but persevered With deligence, wisdom and pushing her plans for a better Freetown for Freetonians! Our city is cleaner than it has ever been her idea of making Freetown into a Greentown by planting 1.000,000 trees in the city was a brilliant one! She is working hard with international partners to involve Freetown /Freetonians in different areas that will enhance the lives of the citizens and the City!

Her humility is one of a kind . If I were to vote for her for a second term I will not hesitate as she has made life more bearable for many Freetonians even though it‚s been a trying time for her! Working with her team on healthcare/education has also been of importance in her agenda and she has found a way of creating jobs for youths/street boys in the city .. what a man can do a woman can do better!!!

Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyerr deserves this award for her dedication / perseverance / humility/ love for people in general and most of all her Intelligence that she puts to work 99.9% of the time!

Challenges for Freetown:
Every household with space must plant at least 3 trees and/shrubs and flowers. Educating the layman on the importance of a greener city! Governments must demarcate areas that must remain Greenland and ensure that all rules and regulations are adhered to! Children must have a few minutes each day after lunch during assembly where they will have a verse they recite each day that will remind them of the importance of having a green city .


Nominated by Sununu B. I. B., Freetown:
The Mayor has been exemplary and created projects that has helped in flood mitigation, education and also in beautifying the city. Through her transform Freetown project we have seen a clean city with clear drainage and also road construction for areas winning the clean Freetown initiative, she's a big fan of climate issues and has instituted means to avoid burning dirt or throwing them on water way or streams. There are times levied for defaulters and in some cases, jail term.


Nominated by Dawda S., outside Sierra Leone:
She is a female among the rest of African list of mayors. her hard work and dedication to improve the city of Freetown, dedicated herself to an inclusive vision of the city's renewal. She introduced the planting of over one million trees just in one year. Making life better for girls in the city by improving their schools and encouraged them to go to school. She is strong doesn‚t encourage intimidation from the ruling government.


Nominated by Abdul M. S., Freetown:
Since Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr took up office as the Mayor of our city, she has proved tremendously well by providing a very outstanding Administrative work for resident within the District. She has also implemented project like the trees replacement, zonal cleaning challenge, coastal design, disaster prone area mitigation, et al. Also, serving as a female mayor has awaken other women to stand firm in Development within the District.

Challenges for Freetown:
To plant more trees, to provide ways to go against plastic waste.


Nominated by Bashiru, outside Sierra Leone:
I believe Her worship Sawyer deserves this price, because she has shown and is still showing what women can do in leadership. She is successfully implementing the Transform Freetown initiative. Among other sustainable city pillars / plans, she is regularly carrying on the 'clean Freetown' exercise to make sure the city is safe.


Nominated by Ibrahim K. C., Sierra Leone:
She's more than qualify for the award of world mayor price, she had been inpactful to many lives across the nation and even beyond, she's a virtuous women ready to work hand and gloves with whoever.

Challenges for Freetown:
Reduce plastic product


Nominated by Ekundayo M. S., Freetown:
I am strongly in support of my Freetown Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyerr OBE, she is a development oriented person. This short time she has brought many good project for our city.


Nominated by Santigie C., Freetown:
She is a great leader who has overcome many challenges and has fought hand in hand with the government in a fight against the deadly pandemic. She promotes gender equality and has great respect for nature. She has implemented projects of planting trees to restore the nature we have lost due to human activities.

Also, she is not partisan, despite being a mayor under the ticket of the opposition party, she has been working collaboratively with all other stakeholders in the city to maintain its standard. She has also supported CBO's on the city and other grassroots organization, which aims at empowering women


Nominated by Ismaila A. B., Freetown:
Yvonne Aki Sawyerr OBE is very developmental focus, honest woman even before she became the mayor of Freetown furthermore her blessings, hard work, intelligence and team work is commendable.

In just few years as the Mayor (mother) in the municipality her presence is felt all over Freetown and beyond, moreover the every day cleaning excises, creating new standard waste management team all over have change the look of every community in our city and many other projects on going so their for I give my support to her worship Yvonne Aki Sawyerr OBE


Nominated by Augustine S. B., Freetown:
Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyer has proven her leadership prowess by bringing to the city of Freetown cutting-edge modern solutions to the problems of climate change, health, environmental abuse and poverty.

Challenges for Freetown:
Strong government policies and implementation mechanisms is integral to enhance a stronger, fairer and greener cities.


Nominated by Fred K. S. M., Freetown:
She took proactive steps and supported NACOVERC in ensuring that Covid 19 spread rate within the city is reduced. This was experienced by Freetown City Council collaboration with stakeholders in the fight against Covid 19

Challenges for Freetown:
More trees could be planted.


Nominated by Joseph F. B., Sierra Leone:
Working as the delivery team leader for the presidential recovery priorities, Yvonne became more aware of the challenges of every sector of the minorities department and agencies and with the desire to serve her country, she has strived well beyond expectations in improving and still working hard with her team to see that the lost glories of the Freetown is restored. She is passionate about her drive and the energy is high.


Nominated by John A.-G., outside Sierra Leone:
Her unstinting leadership, direction and planning to transform a historic but desperately under-resourced city into a proud organised and green symbol of hope in the midst of considerable political challenges from the sitting government.

Challenges for Freetown:
Financial incentives from world bodies for poorer cities to adopt greener policies and arrangements.


Nominated by Kate, Sierra Leone:
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr is an inspiring public servant in Sierra Leone. It is evident she serves the people of her city - not herself or her wallet. This is made clear through her many efforts to progress Freetown into a modern, clean metropolitan city, while also promoting programs that prtect the vulnerable, such as providing thousands of masks to market women during the pandemic.


Nominated by Alimaty S., Freetown:
Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr has succeeded in bringing education to the rural market places in the city , she has also ensured an hygienic atmosphere in places that used to be renowned for filth and unhygienic activities. I believe she's the best we've ever had. Giving her this award I'm positive would motivate her to do even more.


Nominated by Karamoh K., Freetown:
Mayor Yvonne Ali- Sawyerr has overcomes all major obstacles in a chauvinist country, a culture grounded in a tradition that doesn‚t favor women in authority to improve on services and work to modernize a city that‚s well known for archaic system. Ski-Sawyerr is a woman of virtue and conviction ˜ she‚s committed to her job and loves her city. She also strong on environmental issues.

Challenges for Freetown:
Freetown is in need of large canals to serve as mountain drainage system, serve as drainage for ribose and avoidance of flooding as well as beautification of the city.


Nominated by Valnora E., Freetown:
Our mayor of Freetown has shown exemplary leadership in a city that has over the years degenerated into a slum. She has designed new initiatives to get every resident involved and established mechanisms for engagement when residents have issues with some of the policies. She has an open door policy and willing to debate and engage on issues affecting the various categories of her residents. She has for the first time designed a zonal system, digitized and easily accessible. She has pushed hard to ensure the city is clean. Though faced with a number of challenges she has been relentless in her efforts. An example that one can hold public office and deliver what the citizens require


Nominated by Mohamed S., Freetown:
She is a woman of substance. She has transformed the City of Freetown. I believe in her.


Nominated by NAN, Freetown:
Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyerr has been very proactive during this epidemic, working alongside the national COVID 19 response to reach out to her subjects with preventive messages. She has supported the "mask up" campaign and facilitated the wide coverage of the messages.

She is an avid supporter of a greener society and is currently on "make Freetown green again" campaign as she promotes tree planting within her municipality, leading by example.


Nominated by Alhaji K., Freetown:
Make us know the value of leadership and good leader. Freetown city council used to be a trashy place for political losers. Now it‚s the centre for elites because of Yvonne.


Nominated by Maria W., Freetown:
I am nominating Mayor Aki-Sawyerr because of her strategic and hands on approach in providing support to residents and workers of Freetown. She was instrumental in educating Freetonians on the severity of Civid-19 through visits to markets, informal settlements, weekly radio and TV shows in the local language (Krio). This was to remind people of the importance of wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing. She also sought financial support for people in quarantine homes to be cared for during their period of isolation. She's not a 'behind the desk leader' and is always available to guide and support her team in the delivery of her #TransformFreetown program. She's a deserving candidate for this award.


Nominated by C. K., outside Sierra Leone:
A brilliant and creative mayor who has championed better healthcare options and equity during the coronavirus pandemic but has also been steadfast in building a greener, cleaner, and more sustainable Freetown city.