March 25, 2021
Mayor of the Freetown City Council (FCC)’,Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr has been shortlisted for the 2021 World Mayor Prize.
The London-based City Mayors Foundation, the organiser of the bi-annual prize, cited the Mayor’s strong leadership during the Covid pandemic as one of the reasons she has been placed among the world’s most outstanding mayors.
According to a statement from the UK foundation,proponents of Mayor Aki-Sawyerr cited that in April 2020, even before the outbreak had established itself, she had devised a comprehensive Covid Preparedness and Response Plan.
“The Mayor’s early vision in implementing anti-Covid measures was 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.”
Tann vom Hove, Senior Fellow at the City Mayors Foundation, said: “Since her election in 2018, Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr has made it a strategic priority to address social, economic and environmental inequalities. Even before the Covid pandemic the Mayor realised that cities like Freetown remain extremely vulnerable to natural as well as man-made disasters if they lack cohesion. The city’s ‘Transform Freetown’ agenda mirrors the 2021 World Mayor theme of Stronger | Fairer | Greener cities.”
the foundation recognised Mayor Aki-Sawyerr as one of Africa’s leading fighters against climate change.
“She is fully committed to making Freetown carbon-neutral. If she succeeds in her aim to plant one million trees over the next two years, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr will become an environmental role model in Africa and beyond.”
The World Mayor Prize has been awarded to outstanding mayors from across the world since 2004. Previous winners include city leaders from large metropolises such as Athens, Mexico City, Melbourne and Cape Town but also mayors from smaller cities like Bilbao, Calgary, Mechelen and Ancona.
The 2021 World Mayor Project features and honours mayors who understand that, post-Covid, cities need to become more resilient, economically, structurally, socially and environmentally. The title for World Mayor 2021 is Stronger | Fairer | Greener cities.
Candidates for the World Mayor Prize and Commendations are not selected by a jury but put forward by members of the public, often by fellow-citizens of the mayors.
World Mayor 2021 has now entered its second stage. Between now and the end of April, Freetown citizens and others are invited to vote for Mayor Aki-Sawyerr and at the same time review her achievements as Mayor as well as her future plans for the city. The testimonials will form part of World Mayor’s international coverage.