IDEA (UK) Board of Directors

IDEA (UK) Project Team

The biographies of the key project team members are provided below.

Keith Aki-Sawyerr – Overall Project Lead

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Keith is a civil and structural engineer with over 20 years experience in the design, construction and funding of infrastructure and accommodation projects. Keith started his engineering career with Sir William Halcrow & Partners in the UK where he spent eight years during which time he became a chartered civil engineer. He then spent a further four years with Lloyd’s Register where he was involved in Risk Assessments and the approval and certification of designs and manufacturing processes. Keith has an MBA from Cranfield School of Management and has spent the past 11 years specialising in structuring and negotiating complex PFI or Project Finance Transactions. Keith also owns UK based property development and construction companies. Keith holds a BEng (Hons) degree from Fourah Bay College and an MSc in Bridge Engineering from the University of Surrey. Keith is a Sierra Leonean and is the Managing Director of IDEA (UK).

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr – Investment Promotion & Marketing Lead

Yvonne is a Chartered Accountant with considerable experience in the financial services industry and in property development. She was previously Managing Director of the Caleb Group (which she co-founded), a developer and manager of its own portfolio of residential and commercial properties in the UK. Prior to the Caleb Group, Yvonne was a Director at Andersens where she acquired 11 years of experience in risk consulting within the financial services industry in London and Europe. At Andersens she focused on regulatory frameworks, corporate governance and the risk management of processes and controls. Her client engagements included the FSA, the Bank of England and various international and UK based financial institutions. Yvonne is also the Chairperson and co-founder of SLWT (the Sierra Leone WarTrust for Children), a non-profit organisation that has successfully run significant education, health and self-sufficiency programs for children and youth in Sierra Leone since 1999. She holds an MSc in Politics of The World Economy from the London School of Economics (1990) and a BSc Hons in Economics from Fourah Bay College (1988). Yvonne is the Investments Director of IDEA (UK).

Jacqueline Williams – Finance and Compliance Lead

Jacqueline trained first as barrister and then as an accountant. She has worked with Deloitte and Touche (Chartered Accountants), Seacontainers Group of Companies, United Assurance Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers and William M Mercer (Consultants) in various capacities including regulatory compliance, audit and project management. Jacqueline is a self-starter who prior to joining IDEA (UK) ran her own company “AAA Consultancy Services Ltd” for over ten years.  Jacqueline has demonstrable experience and expertise in finance, project management and corporate governance. She has designed and delivered training courses on finance, company administration and personnel procedures as Associate trainer with CIMA Mastercourses, REED Training, Central Law Training (CLT) and Quorum Training Ltd, and as principal consultant with the Centre for Charity Effectiveness (Cass Business School). She holds an LLB from the University of London. Jacqueline is the Company Secretary of IDEA (UK).

Dimitrios Hatzis – Advisor to the Management Team

Dimitrios Hatzis has over 20 years experience in the support services and construction industry, including senior roles in Amey Plc and Miller. He has experience in growing asset focused operating businesses, and transactional experience in social infrastructure and M&A. Dimitrios has also held senior positions in the public sector, focused upon improving business efficiency and practices. A chartered engineer in Greece and the UK, Dimitrios has a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Edinburgh, a Ph.D. in Engineering from St. John’s College, Cambridge. University and an MBA from INSEAD.

Dimitrios is a Non-Executive Director of IDEA (UK).

IDEA (SL) Team

Wilben Short – Programme Implementation Lead

Wilben has over 25 years experience at running large scale projects and operations at director level in asset-intensive industries. He began his career with a 14 year stint in BAT Sierra Leone, the last five years as operations director. After BAT he joined London Underground where as General Manager of the Northern line, he was responsible for a business unit of £150M turnover with 2000 employees. He played a leading role in several major projects including the implementation of the £400M Private-Finance Initiative to introduce new trains on the Northern Line. As Head of Project Management for 3 lines, Wilben was responsible for a portfolio of civil, mechanical and electrical engineering projects with an annual spend of circa £200M. Prior to joining IDEA UK, Wilben led the transport planning for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and was part of the winning bid team. He holds a Bachelors degree in Physics and Electronics from Leeds University and an MBA from Cranfield University. Wilben is the Managing Director of IDEA (SL).

Trudy Morgan – Programme Management Lead

Trudy is a chartered engineer with 20 years infrastructure development experience and over 12 years’ experience in management. She has worked extensively in several African and Asian countries including South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, DR Congo, and Sudan. She has worked extensively in a number of sectors as a Programme and Project Manager and led on the £9M SPADs Reduction programme for LUL, £55M+ DFID global office rollout, the £124M 3 car capacity enhancement project for DLR and the £140M construction of the new civic centre for a London Council. She holds an MBA from the Cranfield School of Management (2000) and a BSc (Hons) in Civil Engineering from the University of Sierra Leone (1989).  Trudy is the Sierra Leone Representative for the British Institution of Civil Engineers.

Rose Wilson – Finance and Administration Lead

Rosetta is a Certified Chartered Accountant with over 12 years senior management experience in the UK. As a finance professional she has worked for a number of organisations with turnover ranging from £20m to £150m.  As Finance Director for over 6 years, she had responsibilities including the ICT function, treasury management, risk management, information compliance and long term financial planning.  She has lead the financial due diligence for mergers as part of an organisational growth strategy.  She has an extensive knowledge of corporate governance as until June 2010, she was the Chair of the Board of Trustees for a not for profit housing organisation with turnover in excess of £30m; she lead the organisation into a very successful merger in June 2010.  Rosetta is a Sierra Leonean who acquired her professional qualifications and post qualification training in the UK.    She is a Fellow of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (FCCA) and also a member of Association of Chartered Management Accountants (ACMA).

Further IDEA (UK) Directors

Denis Stefanopulos – Chairman

Denis Stefanopulos was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone where he completed his primary and secondary education. He was a Maths Teacher for 4 years and a guitarist with the Golden Strings Band in Sierra Leone, before travelling to the UK for further studies. Denis qualified as an Electronic Engineer at the Middlesex University in London and is a Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering.Denis is a descendant of the local community at Kaffu Bullom and a member of one of the landowning families at Mape. He formed the Company in 2004 and initiated the scheme that has now evolved into “The Mape Project”. He is a Company Director and the Chairman.



Kevin Metzger – Director

Kevin was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1984 and to the Sierra Leone Bar in 1986. His area of practice is general common law, specialising in serious criminal cases, including complex frauds. Kevin has appeared as lead counsel in a number of complex trials.  Kevin is a member of the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales.  He has led a Library and Resources project and participated as a Consultant in an Advocacy Development Program in Sierra Leone under the auspices of the Bar Human Rights Committee.  He is on the list of assigned counsel for ICTY, on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Database of Deployable Civilian Experts and on the rota of experts (Human Rights) for the UN (Geneva).