Denise Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr - APC - 2018 - Mayor

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr

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Education and Professional Information

Chartered Accountant
Highest Level of Education
Masters Degree

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Yvonne 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 is a Chartered Accountant and holds an MSc in Politics of the World Economy (London School of Economics) and a BSc Hons in Economics (Fourah Bay College).  She is married with two children.

Yvonne is a former pupil of St. Joseph's Secondary School and was Head Girl and Loreto House Captain before going on to Fourah Bay College in 1984. Whilst at Fourah Bay College, Yvonne revitalised the local chapter of AIESEC (the International Association of Students in Economics and Management), and in 1988 was elected as the first African on AIESEC’s Brussels-based International Exchange Committee.

Her international career continued with professional services firm Arthur Andersen & Co, which she joined in 1990.  Her roles involved delivering risk management, regulatory and corporate governance consulting to blue chip clients in the UK financial services industry.  Whilst with Arthur Andersen, Yvonne was involved with several Sierra Leonean civil action initiatives and charities.  In the period between 1999 to 2001, she campaigned against the trade in ‘blood diamonds’ and advocated for ending the Sierra Leone civil war.  She remains the Chairperson for SLWT, a charity that she co-founded in April 1999 and which supports disadvantaged children and young people in Sierra Leone.  SLWT currently cares for 50 children orphaned by Ebola, in addition to providing over 30 secondary school scholarships to under-privileged girls.

In 2010, Yvonne became the Investment Director of IDEA, where she is responsible for raising international financing for IDEA projects and for local stakeholder management. IDEA are the owners and developers of the Hilton Freetown Cape Sierra Hotel.  Yvonne is also a Director of ConsultIDEA, which in 2016 initiated “LEADA”, a leadership development programme designed to promote the practice of leadership as an act of service in Sierra Leone.

From August 2014 to October 2014, Yvonne led a campaign in the UK to increase international awareness of the Ebola outbreak and recruit volunteers to work in the Ebola Treatment Centres.  Taking sabbatical leave from IDEA, she relocated to Sierra Leone in November 2014 and served as Director of Planning at the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC).  In collaboration with others, she developed and implemented the strategy to end the outbreak in Sierra Leone.

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