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John Bonoh Sisay, former CEO of Sierra Rutile and former APC Flagbearer Aspirant

Service Offering: 
Political Campaigns

Communications Challenge

In 2015, John Sisay was a successful business leader heading Sierra Rutile, an AIM listed Sierra Leonean based mining company. He had established an excellent reputation in the mining sector and in Sierra Leone as a responsible and ethical businessman, who provided a range of economic and social opportunities to the local community, whilst also running a successful business.

John Sisay wanted to build on this reputation and further his position as a leading African business figure whilst simultaneously establishing himself in Sierra Leone and within the All People’s Congress to take on the role of Flagbearer for the 2018 General Election. The communications challenge for the client and for Aequitas was: how could we establish the client as a serious political contender and how could this be achieved given that the client had no history of playing an active role in front line Sierra Leonean politics?


Aequitas Strategy

Aequitas approached this challenge by identifying the key groups the client needed to influence:

APC officials:

To build the clients reputation amongst established party figures

APC members and convention delegates:

To secure support for the client at the convention where the Flagbearer was elected

International institutions and donor countries:

To build strong relationships with the countries and institutions that provides Sierra Leone with financial support

International media:

To further establish the client as a go to voice on African business matters and build his reputation as a potential president of Sierra Leone


What we did 

  • Aequitas secured coverage for the client in a range of media outlets including:

- The Guardian
 - Newsweek
 - CNBC Africa
-  evEx

  • Aequitas facilitated attendance at events held by international institutions including the UNGA arranged meetings with world leaders including Justin Trudeau
  • Aequitas manged the creation of the client’s detailed, costed and popular policy manifesto and organised a manifesto launch event with national media
  • Aequitas developed and manged the selection process for the client’s Flagbearership campaign
  • Aequitas created a website for the client and managed his social media profiles
  • Aequitas developed and managed the client’s “Betteh Tok” campaign of voter engagement and listening events with the public across the country


Aequitas’ work with the client over the last three years has seen him build an international profile and establish himself on the domestic political scene. Aequitas ensured our client was positioned as the favourite candidate to become Flagbearer going into the party convention, after starting off the campaign as an outsider. He was the only candidate with a fully developed, costed and credible manifesto which ensured he would have been able to start delivering his public policy agenda from the moment he was elected.

Aequitas successfully established our client as a prominent figure within the party, and right across the country, with significant support amongst the grassroots party members and general public. Although our client was not ultimately successful in his bid to become Flagbearer, he was subsequently appointed Campaign Manager, overseeing all aspects of the General Election campaign.