Freetown, Sierra Leone

Freetown Waste Micro-Enterprise Project


Freetown commits to provide green livelihood opportunities for migrant, refugee, and marginalized youth living in informal settlements while improving waste management throughout the city. In 2021-2022, the city’s Waste Management Micro-Enterprise Program expanded to 40 new entrepreneurial teams to deliver waste collection services within informal settlements and to other Freetown residents. The builds on gains made by 80 existing waste management micro-enterprises supported by the Freetown City Council. Through this expansion, the city ensures that more youth living in informal settlements, the majority of whom are rural migrants, access the opportunity to jointly improve their livelihoods. Project clients are provided with initial business investment support that includes a motorized tricycle cart, sanitation tools, business registration, training, and business development mentoring. This project is supported by the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees. To sustain and scale the Global Cities Fund initial investment, FCC directly funded fifty percent of tricycles purchased, allowing the city to continue to reach the most vulnerable Freetonians while creating a cleaner, greener Freetown for all.


Freetown’s most recent phase of the project has three key impacts:

  1. 240 youth in informal settlements have access to green livelihood opportunities, including 180 young rural migrants and at least sixty women.
  2. At least 1,500 households have improved access to waste collection services, sanitary conditions, and reduced waterway and water point contamination.
  3. Freetown City Council has strengthened capacity to support delivery, job creation in informal settlements, and improved the public health of citizens.

Freetown’s project has the following key innovations:

  • Piloting a new a new financial mechanism to sustain and scale the Global Cities Fund initial investment. Through the project, Freetown designed a loan repayment scheme that allows its Waste Management Micro-Enterprise Program to sustain itself as it scales to help more people find work while creating a cleaner, greener city.
  • Strengthening Freetown City Council’s collaboration with Global Cities Fund Strategic Partners: UN-Habitat, UCLG, IOM, and UNHCR.
Priority Objectives
Minimising the drivers of forced migration and displacement, including climate change and environmental drivers
Minimising the drivers of forced displacement, including climate change and environmental drivers
Providing access to urban infrastructure, social services, and education regardless of status
Realising socio-economic inclusion
Realising socio-economic inclusion
Sierra Leone
Local or regional government
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr
Start of Project
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr
"Freetown belongs to everyone who has chosen this city as their home. All residents, including migrants, have a role to play in helping our city emerge from this pandemic more equitable, more sustainable, and more prepared for the future. The Mayors Migration Council’s Global Cities Fund is a crucial component to helping all Freetonians reach this goal”
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr
Mayor of Freetown