Upon invitation by the Lord Mayor of Monrovia, Jefferson T. Koijee, the Mayor of the Freetown City Council (FCC) ,Her Worship, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr has ended a three day visit to Monrovia, Liberia where she served as keynote speaker for the 45th anniversary celebrations of Monrovia Day.
Monrovia Day is celebrated annually on the 16th of February to encourage Monrovians to embrace the city’s identity and to increase awareness of the city Government’s work.
It is noted that her visit also served as a platform for strengthening the relationship between Freetown and Monrovia and for finding practical ways to overcome the similar challenges both cities face.
One of the highlights of Mayor Aki-Sawyer’s visit was a Street Parade.
Mayor Aki-Sawyerr joined Mayor Koijee in the Monrovia Day Street Parade, which was led by the Monrovia City Police and which brought together residents of the city, students, women organizations and City Council staff.
The other was a Community Quiz Competition.
Also, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr joined Mayor Koijee and his team at the New Kru Town community for the finals of a city hosted community quiz competition. The competition started in October 2020 and enabled youth from 160 communities across Monrovia’s 15 districts to test their knowledge in math, language arts, science, social studies and current affairs.
The third highlight was an evening of Cultural Renaissance and Awards. On Monday evening, the 15th February 2021 Mayor Aki-Sawyerr was one of three distinguished personalities honoured by Mayor Koijee and the Monrovia City Council during a cultural event that was attended by Government officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, traditional leaders and Monrovia residents to celebrate Liberia’s cultural heritage.
What followed next were visits with Former President Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor.
Mayor Aki-Sawyerr was hosted by Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on Monday 15th February as a member of the inaugural cohort of Amujae Leaders, the former President’s initiative to increase women participation in the highest public offices.
Also present at the event were a cross section of prominent women connected with the Amujae Leadership programme. Mayor Aki-Sawyerr met the Vice President on Wednesday and they discussed a range of issues affecting women’s empowerment and opportunities.
Then there was the 45th Monrovia Day Anniversary Celebration.
Mayor Aki-Sawyerr served as keynote speaker at the main event celebrating Monrovia Day.
Speaking on the theme was “Sustaining Smart Actions for Smart Cities”, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr highlighted 3 smart actions which were having a strategic plan with clear targets, focusing on resource mobilization and cultivating sub-regional city alliances that foster relevant knowledge exchange and problem solving.
Mayor Aki Sawyerr’s keynote address was followed by Mayor Koijee’s State of the City Address.
A Press Conference and Engagement with Youth of Monrovia came next. Mayor Aki-Sawyerr rounded up her visit to Monrovia with a joint Press Conference with Mayor Koijee and an interactive session with a cross section of youth in the Council’s Conference Room.
The sessions provided the opportunity for the Press and youth to ask questions about #TransformFreetown and the Mayors’ plans to further strengthen the relationship between Freetown and Monrovia.
Speaking to Mayor Aki-Sawyerr on her departure, Mayor Koijee thanked the Mayor for visiting Monrovia and reaffirmed his resolve to deepen the interaction between the two cities, noting that there is great potential for the cities to learn from and inspire each other.
This was already being put into practice during the visit as members of the Freetown delegation joined the Monrovia sanitation team on a tour of the city dumpsite and other areas to better understand the city’s sanitation-related bottlenecks.
Mayor Aki-Sawyerr was accompanied on her visit by Councilor Zainab Conteh, Chairperson of the Foreign Relations Committee, FCC’s Foreign Relations Head of Department and 4 members of the Mayor’s Delivery Unit.
Plans are underway for a more in-depth working visit by the Mayor of Monrovia and members of his team.
(C) The Calabash Newspaper