Category: Press Release

NEW BAI BUREH PORTRAIT UNVEILED

Posted By : National Tourist Board/ 311

The Hon. Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs in collaboration with Sierra Leone National Museum and Gary Schulze, an African-American on the 25th May, 2018 unveiled the mural of the great Bai Bureh, one of the illustrious hero of the Hut Tax War of 1898 at the National Museum along Siaka Stevens Street in Freetown.

Mr. Foday Jalloh, Director of Cultural Affairs, served as Chairman of the occasion. In his address, he recalled the historical importance Of Gary Schulze, a Hon. Paramount Chief of Kagboro Chiefdom, on our cultural history.

Mr. Mohamed Jalloh, Director of Tourism in his address maintained that there is need to have more of such attractions for tourists to see; adding that Sierra Leone heritage is not just on Trans-atlantic Slave Trade but also an historical and cultural heritage.

Gary Schulze recalled that a British man once took Bai Bureh’s photo and that very photo has become the new Bai Bureh. He commended Mr. Bangura who drew the portrait of this great hero.

The Hon. Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Madam Memunatu B. Pratt thanked Gary on behalf of His Excellency Julius Maada Bio for his keen interest in digging into the history of Sierra Leone.
“We need more Garys in Sierra Leone to champion our cultural history,” the Hon. Minister confirmed. She explained that Bai Bureh signifies a symbol of the first resistance to colonialism.

Meanwhile, Dr. Adonis Abboud, the Serbian Consul, who doubles as the Proprietor of Trans -national Sierra Leone, reiterated that Tourism is the future for Sierra Leone’s economic development.

The Curator of The Sierra Leone National Museum, Madam Josephine Kargbo gave the vote of thanks.

BY: MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS TEAM.
MINISTRY OF TOURISM AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS

TOURISM MINISTER VISITS MUDSLIDE SITE AT REGENT

Posted By : National Tourist Board/ 245

The Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu B. Pratt visited the mudslide site at Regent on Friday May 18th, 2018.

The essence of the visit was to observe the present situation in the site after almost two years and with the aim of transforming the mudslide site into a memorial site which will serve as a touristic attraction and also as a place to provide a space for those who lost their relatives during the August 14th 2017 mudslide disaster.

She stated that the visit was also to know how they would be able to explore the possibilities of planting trees through UNOPS at the site.

‘’The site is very important in our history because after the war we were unable to develop a memorial place and we want to promote a touristic attraction area by establishing a park and a memorial site for people to visit’’ the Tourism Minister said. She mentioned that in Rwanda there is a genocide museum where people and tourists can visit to reflect on the ethnic war that led to the mass killing of people in that country.

‘’When you visit New York they will take you to the site where the 9-11 incident took place’’, the Tourism Minister said.

According to the Minister of Tourism, His Excellency ,the President Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio is very much concern that they should be able to transform and translate the site not only as a touristic area but also as a place where people can go and pay homage and respect to the dead.

She added that a prevention Disaster Agency Committee has been set up to work collectively in a bid to proffer solutions to further prevent the reoccurrence of the mudslide disaster at Regent. The minister also disclosed that they are going to embark on a community engagement and sensitization with the people who are still living within Regent for them to relocate to safe areas as climate change has a very huge impact that is unpredictable. She thanked DFID and the World Bank for their support and aid towards their effort of transforming their aspirations for the development of the said site.

In attendance of the visit at the Regent mudslide site were Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs Dr.Memunatu Pratt, the Chief Minister Prof. David Francis ,Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security Mr. Joseph Ndanema, the Minister of Lands and Country Planning Dr. Dennis Sandy, Environmental Protection Unit (EPA) Madam Jatu Jalloh, UNOPS Representatives, World Bank Representatives, National Association of Certified Tourists Guilds, The Media Units and some representatives of the Regent Community.

The Minister of Lands and Country planning, Dr. Dennis Sandy, said that they wanted the mudslide site to be a dedicated area where people will come and visit in remembrance of their lost families. Dr. Dennis Sandy disclosed that on Monday they will organize a meeting at State House in a bid to map out the way forward to prevent the reoccurrence of such a disaster in the future. He maintained that they were focusing on the issue of mitigating the disaster. ‘’Our visit has sent a message that our government cares’’ Dr. Sandy stated.

 

NEW MINISTER FOR THE MINISTRY OF TOURISM AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS – MRS. MEMUNATU B. PRATT

Posted By : National Tourist Board/ 368

NEW MINISTER FOR THE MINISTRY OF TOURISM AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS-

 

MRS. MEMUNATU B. PRATT

The Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs welcomes its new minister in the person of Mrs. Memunatu B.Pratt. Mrs. M.B. Pratt is a professional and long standing lecturer with correct track records in Fourahbay College, University of Sierra Leone, who has a proficient academic background in Research and Peace Building and conflict Studies.  She served as Head of Department for Peace and Conflict Resolution or Management Department. Over the years of serving in the University she also served in various relevant capacity as: Visiting Professor – University of Hiroshima for two years as External Researcher. She furthered her studies in PhD Research-Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Bradford (UK), Master’s Degree with Thesis M.A Library Information and Communication Studies (Fourah Bay College). While serving as Head of department she was opportuned to gain Affiliations as Executive Board Member – The Sierra Herald, Board Member – WANEP-SL. Chairperson Sierra Leone Peace and Cultural Monument, Ministry of Defense and the State and Ministry of Tourism, Monuments and Relics Commission, Vice-Chairman and founding Board Member, ICCO West Africa Regional Board, EU Headquarters, Bamako Mali, Chairperson – Rehabilitation and Development Agency (RADA) Bo Southern Region, Commonwealth Fellow – Distinguished Awardee from the Commonwealth Foundation. Dr. MB. Pratt also served in the capacity as Board Chair for Fambul Tok International. Reaching these heights and services rendered, His Excellency Dr.  Rtd. Brigd. Julius Maada Bio thought it wise and fit to appoint Dr.  Pratt to fully serve in his government as the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs.

Upon this, it is now crystal clear that the mantle of responsibility is incumbent upon her to ensure the vision of the president is achieved looking at the highlighted points in the presidential Manifesto, which is a priority to increase revenue, create opportunity for jobs, and raise the tourism and destination profile, to attract tourists and also increase occupancy levels of hotels.

Despite the high potential in the Tourism sector, the tourism sector remains one of the most underdeveloped and underfunded sectors of the economy. The critical challenges include lack of a Master Plan for the development of the sector, weak policy and regulatory framework, limited human capacity, poor, infrastructure as well as unfavorable country image.

In the New Direction, the Minister has been assigned with the duties of laying down proper strategic objectives to increase revenue, provide jobs and promote the cultural heritage of the country.

The specific policy actions will cover:

  • Specifically, improving policy and legal environment will entail reviewing and upgrading all tourism-related laws, regulations and policies to ensure consistency with regional and global best practices, developing a master plan for the tourism sector and establishing a Tourism Information Register (TIR).
  • Must also ensure the administration rehabilitate and develop historic and cultural sites, establish Public-Private Partnership to manage historic sites, at designate tourist attraction areas and provide them with the needed infrastructure including water, electricity and communications and develop tourist infrastructure (such as beach resorts, eco villages and research camps).
  • In the area of promoting marketing and improving the international image of Sierra Leone, the  administration will (i) develop an improved web portal for tourism promotions (ii) participate in international tourist activities and (iii) collaborate with Embassies/Missions to showcase the tourist sites and potentials.
  • In developing skills in tourism, the administration will conduct skills audit of the tourism sector, prepare a Labour Force Development Plan for the Tourism Sector, and upgrade the existing training school for hotel Management, support private colleges pursuing tourism-related disciplines in terms of materials, equipment and staffing and introduce higher education programmes for tourism training.
  • Finally the diversification of tourism products will include adventure tours such as safaris, jungle tours, mountain trekking and support local entrepreneurs to promote tourism-based activities to link with the rural economy, harvest seasons, wildlife, farming practices, art, culture and religions.

On this note, the Management and staff of the National Tourist Board humbly welcome the new Minister and the Board will give all the necessary support in executing these responsibilities. Wish you all the best in this new endeavor.