By Amin Kef Sesay
Officials of the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, the National Tourist Board and its partners reached the Northern city of Makeni on the 25th September 2020 in the build-up to the ultimate celebration of World Tourism Day, the 27th September 2020.
The Resident Minister of North East Region, Abu Abu Koroma urged all Sierra Leoneans to maintain their culture and henceforth desist from imitating Western culture.
Speaking at the ceremony held at Unimak University, Makeni City, Abu Abu Koroma said, “We in Africa have a unique cultural heritage which we should be proud of rather than to copy others”.
While encouraging people to maintain their God given skin colour as unique natural identity, he frowned on those in the habit of bleaching their skins to copy western life.
The Resident Minister further solicited the support of all to the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs in making Sierra Leone a tourist destination if they we truly want the country to develop.
Delivering her keynote address, Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt expressed excitement to be in Makeni in order to celebrate World Tourism Day there.
She told the audience that tourism is a great discipline in the world and the fastest growing industry which brings many opportunities for the development of any country.
She further reiterated that tourism as an industry has grown a lot from which many countries in the world are benefiting immensely including the creation of jobs opportunities, infrastructures and greater revenue generation for States.
The Minister spoke about how President Bio has prioritized tourism as a growth sector in the diversification of economic growth.
She further revealed a recent stride they took to training coastal women on meaningful economic activities as an alternative livelihood to fishing in three touristic attraction Islands with support from the United Nations Development Programme and Government.
The Minister highlighted some of the benefits to be derived in engaging on tourism saying with tourism people could make themselves comfortable by just being innovative with the local resources available within their reach.
Dr Pratt revealed strides that the Ministry and its agencies have taken to position Sierra Leone at the global international market of tourism as a tourist destination country.
The charismatic Tourism Minister dilated on her collaboration with other line ministries especially the Works Ministry in making touristic attraction sites accessible and the sector thrive in the country.