Dr. Yakama Manty Jones (née Mara)
Yakama Manty Jones is an Economist and currently serves as the Director of Research and Delivery at the Ministry of Finance in Sierra Leone. She leads collaborative efforts to generate the evidence needed to support informed policy formulation and decision making in the economic management space in the country.
As a consultant, Dr. Jones lends her expertise to a variety of agencies focused on Development, Finance, International Business, Economic Policy, and Project Management. She also shares this knowledge through her faculty position in the Department of Economics and Commerce, Fourah Bay College where she earned her Bachelors degree with Honours in Economics, aged nineteen.
With post-graduate qualifications from the University of Manchester and the University of London (Queen Mary& Westfield College, Birkbeck College), Yakama’s research interests lie in Development Economics, International Business, Human Capital Development, Macro and micro-level data analysis for growth dynamics, and using innovation and systems approaches to improve public service delivery.
As an entrepreneur, Dr. Jones co-founded the Peninsular Innovative Group with her husband Herbert Durosimi Jones. PI Group is an indigenous company operating in the shipping, manufacturing and agri-business industries in Sierra Leone. PI Group works mainly with youths and female owned businesses.
Her work continues in the realm of philanthropy. Combining her love for learning and education, Dr. Jones founded the Yak Jones Foundation. The Yak Jones Foundation promotes literacy by bringing the culture of reading among children in Sierra Leone. The foundation organises reading, comprehension and quiz competitions for school-going children, forms book clubs across the country, and donates mobile libraries and book chests to schools in remote areas of Sierra Leone. Thousands of children have directly benefited from these books and libraries. The foundation has thus far been sustainable through fundraising activities and support from friends, family and corporate sponsors.
Yakama, a TEDx speaker, is one of the 50 Most Influential Young Sierra Leoneans, has been featured on the 100 Women West Africa list, and has won many other awards. She has been invited to give talks locally and internationally by organisations such as the UNFPA, the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change and the World Bank on topics related to education, entrepreneurship, human capital development, service delivery and more.
With her strong commitment to lifelong learning and experience sharing, Dr. Jones has pursued executive education programmes at Harvard Kennedy School and mentors other young professionals.
Yakama is a mother of two lovely daughters, Hedya-Gold and Hedsania-Silver Jones.