Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, has a new mayor in the person of Yvonne Aki Sawyerr. She won the position in the recently held March 7 general elections. This makes her the first female mayor since 1977 to 1980 when the position was held by one Dr. June Holst-Roness.
“Freetonians this victory is for all of us. Thank you for believing in my vision and for giving me the honor to serve as your Mayor for the next four years. I look forward to working with all of you to make Freetown a city we are all proud of, ” AfricaNews reported her saying after the election.
According to records from the National Electoral Commission (NEC), the Chartered Accountant who had run on the ticket of the ruling, All Peoples Congress (APC), beat five other competitors (all men) to the seat.
According to her campaign website, “Sawyerr is a finance professional with over 25 years of experience in strategic planning, risk management and project management in the public and private sectors. A team player with a demonstrable record of leading institutional change, Yvonne is passionate about the development of Sierra Leone.”
She polled over 309,000 votes representing 59.92% of votes as against the of the main opposition, Sierra Leone Peoples Party SLPP’s Raymond Desouza George her closest contender who got 167,200 (32.36%). The others shared the remaining votes.
Yvonne Aki Sawyerr is a holder of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), an MSc holder in Politics of the World Economy (London School of Economics), a BSc Hons in Economics (Fourah Bay College), and has a presidential medal for the work she did on sensitization on the deadly Ebola virus that ravaged the country years back.
Sawyerr’s job is cut out for a capital that last year suffered a deadly landslide. The news has been received with congratulations and best wishes for her tenure.