Mayor of Freetown, Her Worship Yvonne Aki-Sawyer has participated in the third in-person meeting of the UN Global Commission on the Economics of Water held in Germany.
“I am honored to have been selected to serve as a member of this 12-person Commission tasked to report back to the United Nations on the scale of the global water challenge and to propose solutions that promote efficiency, equity and sustainability of global water access.” Mayor Aki-Sawyer wrote her social media handles.
She said as an economist and now a public sector practitioner, it has been inspiring and stimulating to contribute to the Commission as Sierra Leone tackles this very complex global issue that has a direct impact on the lives of ordinary people at the local level in Freetown.
The Commission’s preliminary report will be delivered at the UN Water Conference in March 2023 and Mayor Aki-Sawyer along with others, have highlighted the urgent need to address access to finance for local authorities as critical to protecting water sources and investing in infrastructure required to expand water access.
The current financial challenges facing many governments, especially in Africa, were explained by Abebe Selassie, Director Africa Department at the IMF, which reinforces the need for innovative solutions to be developed to close the financing gap in cities like Freetown.
The Commission is co-chaired by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Mariana Mazzucato, Johan Rockström, and Tharman Shanmugaratnam and it is a privilege to work with these world-renowned economists.
Mayor Aki-Sawyer concluded saying: “I remain convinced that ultimately global problems require local solutions so I am grateful to have the opportunity to make my inputs into this report, informed by real life experiences on the ground in Freetown”.