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Guest Speaker

Yvonna Aki-Sawyerr - OBE

Yvonne is a finance professional with over 25 years of experience and a demonstrable record of achievement, resilience and adaptability. Yvonne is currently Delivery Team Lead for the President’s Recovery Priorities, a national 24-month multi-stakeholder programme of investment across seven priority sectors. Yvonne is on sabbatical from IDEA, the infrastructure and real estate company developing the Hilton Freetown Cape Sierra Hotel, where in her role as Investments Director, Yvonne has responsibility for project financing. She is Managing Director of ConsultIDEA, the consultancy arm of IDEA which provides consultancy services to third parties, and initiated LEADA, a leadership programme designed to realise the vision of an accepted understanding and practice of leadership as service.


From December 2014 to November 2015, Yvonne served as Director of Planning at the National Ebola Response Centre where in collaboration with others, she worked to develop and implement the strategy to end Sierra Leon’s Ebola outbreak. In recognition of Yvonne’s contribution to the Ebola response, Yvonne was awarded an Ebola Gold Medal by the His Excellency the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone in December 2015 and was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom in January 2016.


Yvonne started her career with global professional services firm Arthur Andersen, where she spent 11 years delivering risk management, regulatory and corporate governance consulting to a range of clients in Europe and the London financial services industry including the Bank of England and the UK Financial Services Authority.


Yvonne is Chairperson and co-founder of SLWT, a charity that has supported disadvantaged children and youth in Sierra Leone since April 1999. She is a Chartered Accountant and holds an MSc in Politics of The World Economy from the London School of Economics and a BSc Hons in Economics from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. Yvonne is married and has two children.