( L-R) : Mayor Aki-Sawyerr and Resident Coordinator Babatunde Ahonsi

United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone, Mr. Babatunde Ahonsi has discussed with the Mayor of the City of Freetown, Her Worship Yvonne Aki- Sawyerr a range of development issues, noting that environmental sustainability is at the core of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) vision for a better Sierra Leone.

During a courtesy call on Her Worship at the new City Council Building at Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown on Monday, Mr. Ahonsi said he was delighted to have the opportunity to serve in Sierra Leone, that the UN has a healthy and rich relationship with all levels of government in Sierra Leone, and he hopes to build on that.

Talking about the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the City of Freetown and the country, the RC recognized that it has immensely affected livelihoods for many residents. He observed that as long as the country has the shadow of the pandemic hanging over it, it would be difficult to reboot the economy.  He noted efforts of the UNCT to support both the health response and negative impacts on the economy. 

He discussed with the Mayor the four priority outcomes of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework – sustainable agriculture, transformational governance, access to basic services and, protection and empowerment of the most vulnerable, all geared at supporting the implementation of the Government’s Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP).

He also mentioned that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an ambitious agenda for countries to realize by the year 2030. So, cities and Mayors can and must play a major role in achieving these goals in all countries, including here in Sierra Leone. 

Furthermore, on behalf of the UN entities based in Freetown, the RC said he was happy with the collaboration between the UN System in Sierra Leone and the Freetown City Council.

I see opportunity for us to better collaborate and explore how we could address the challenges the city is facing,” Mr. Ahonsi said.

Responding, the Mayor who did a presentation to the RC and his team highlighting the #TransformFreetownAgenda and the Council’s COVID-19 Response Plan, said that the city’s engagement with the UN family in Sierra Leone is based on quality collaborations.

She said the work of the Council is aligned with the SDGs and the MTNDP, and that technology plays a great part in the City’s transformational agenda.

The Mayor said she looks forward to more areas of cooperation between the Freetown City Council and the UN in Sierra Leone.