February 2019

Press Release – Jane Goodall’s visit to Sierra Leone


Major Announcement Expected Impacting Sierra Leone’s Conservation and Tourism Efforts

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Freetown, Sierra Leone, February 21, 2019 – Sierra Leone will welcome Dr. Jane Goodall (DBE, anthropologist and UN Messenger of Peace), the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, during her three-day visit to the country, February 27 to March 1st where, 27 years ago, she was instrumental in the founding of the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary. The three-day visit highlights the emerging conservation movement in Sierra Leone as well as the country’s
re-emergence on the world stage as a sustainable tourism destination.

Tacugama, Sierra Leone’s first and only sanctuary, plays a critical role in protecting the country’s rich biodiversity, two of Freetown’s main water catchments and the critically endangered chimpanzees. Since its establishment, the sanctuary has become internationally recognized, benefiting Sierra Leone’s people through jobs, wildlife protection, environmental education, ecotourism, research and health initiatives. Dr Goodall continues to provide inspiration to Tacugama by guiding and inspiring the Sanctuary’s future.

“We look forward to welcoming back Dr. Jane Goodall,” said Her Excellency Fatima Bio, the First Lady of Sierra Leone. “Her visit allows us to share Sierra Leone’s story with the world and to revitalize the international image of our country, which is critical for the development of sustainable tourism, conservation, and economic development. The beauty of our natural diversity, wildlife and culture is also a story that we want to share.”

Dr. Goodall’s visit comes at a time when wildlife tourism, conservation, and sustainability are taking top billing on the global tourism stage. Her stature as a world-leading-conservationist, provides an important global platform for Sierra Leone’s growth as a new tourism destination. The visit will showcase the country’s sustainable tourism offerings and increase awareness of the need for conservation of these critically endangered species. It will also highlight the clear link between conservation and sustainable tourism.
Dr. Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, commented regarding her upcoming visit, “I’m looking forward to my visit to Sierra Leone and proud of the impact the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary has had on saving the country’s remaining chimpanzees while providing needed jobs for local people. I am particularly excited to meet the children of Sierra Leone and share with them my Roots and Shoots program. They are our future hope.”


The three-day program in Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone, is as follows:

• Wednesday, February 27th – Morning – Dr. Jane Goodall tours the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, press interview.

• Wednesday, February 27th – Evening – State Dinner hosted by Her Excellency Fatima Bio, the First Lady of Sierra Leone.

• Thursday, February 28th – 6:00 pm. – Dr. Jane Goodall Speaking Engagement hosted by Ministry of Tourism and attended by Her Excellency Fatima Bio, the First Lady of Sierra Leone – Bintumani Conference Hall.

• Friday, March 1st – Children’s March – 300 children will march from the Youyi Building to the Cotton Tree and then onwards to the British Council where Dr. Jane Goodall will address the children and talk about her Roots and Shoots program. Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyer will speak at this event.

Setting stage for tourism
Jane’s visit to Sierra Leone (a country known in Creole as Salone) comes at the perfect time as the destination prepares to reintroduce itself on the world tourism stage. Most people continue to associate Sierra Leone with its troubled past, so the goal now is to propel the destination into the future, showcasing the results of the its transformation into the next “must visit” location for both leisure and business travelers.
“We are excited to show our “only-in-Sierra Leone” offerings, many of which will surprise world travelers,” said Mrs. Memunatu Pratt, Minister of Tourism, Sierra Leone. “Sierra Leone offers world class beaches, stunning endemic wildlife, rich culture and historical sites, adventure travel, exquisite local cuisine, and a warm and welcoming people, that make our country one of Africa’s most promising new tourism destinations.”
Sierra Leone has one of the highest densities of chimpanzees in the wild anywhere in the world. Adventure travelers can also find little-seen wildlife such as the endangered Diana monkey in the forests of Tiwai Island on the Moa river, three types of colobus monkeys, rare birds and pygmy hippos.
Sierra Leone recently opened a new Tourist Information Office in the capital city of Freetown, near the historic Cotton Tree, the oldest cotton tree in Freetown or possibly in the world and synonymous with freedom of the earlier settlers. That and the launch of a new Tourism In-Flight Traveltainment Magazine and investment in infrastructure are seen as important steps forward for the sector.

Sharing tourism assets
To begin to showcase all this incredible country has to offer to the world, Michaela Guzy, Executive Producer, Director, Writer, Influencer and On-Air Talent for OTPYM (Oh The People You Meet), and David DiGregorio, founder of CornerSun Destination Marketing, will be in Sierra Leone to cover the series of Jane Goodall events. Michaela will capture on film, the wildlife, beaches, people and natural offerings of this relatively undiscovered country. The film will be shown at a special screening in New York City in early spring, to set the stage for Sierra Leone’s tourism renewal in 2020.
“The Jane Goodall visit, and announcement provides us with an amazing first-hand opportunity to show the combination of a rich conservation history and unknown adventure experiences visitors can eventually enjoy,” said Guzy. “We are sierraously excited to share the secrets of Sierra Leone with the world, and who better to introduce Sierra Leone as a sustainable tourism destination than Jane Goodall?”
For more information, contact: The National Tourist Board of Sierra Leone info@sierraleonenationaltouristboard.gov.sl or info@ntb.gov.sl.

About Sierra Leone
With its palm-fringed beaches, breathtaking mountains, tropical rain forests and vibrant culture, Salone is one of West Africa’s most alluring destinations.
About Jane Goodall Institute
The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) is a global community conservation organization that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. By protecting chimpanzees and inspiring action to conserve the natural world. JGI improves the lives of people, animals and the environment. Founded in 1977 by Dr. Goodall, JGI makes a difference through community-centered conservation and the innovative use of science and technology. JGI works closely with local communities around the world, inspiring hope through the collective power of individual action. Through Roots & Shoots, JGI’s youth-led community action and learning program, young people in nearly 80 countries are acquiring the knowledge and skills to become compassionate conservation leaders in their own backyards.


About the Chimpanzees
Chimpanzees are flagship species for tropical forests and woodland areas and play a key role in maintaining the health and diversity of their ecosystems, and their decline and potential extinction may precipitate the decline of other culturally, economically and or ecologically important species.
Media Contact:
Elisa Fershtadt, Public Relations
CornerSun Destination Marketing LLC
Email: elisa@cornersun.com/Telephone: +1 917-88-6554

Click here to download Press Release on Jane Goodall’s visit to Sierra Leone

Tourism Industry begins Landmark Packaging by the launching of the First Tourism In-flight magazine and the opening of the First City Tourist Information Office by The Hon. Vice president of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohammed Juldeh Jalloh.

By Alimatu Fofanah-OVP Communications Unit.

Freetown 5th February, 2019: The Hon. Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh on Tuesday 5th February, 2019 launched the country’s first Tourism In-Flight Traveltainment Magazine and also commissioned the first City Tourist Information Office at the National Museum, Pademba Road, Freetown.

Delivering the Keynote address, the Hon. Vice President commended the Minister of Tourism, Mrs Memunatu Pratt and her staff for such a laudable effort in giving the country’s Tourism sectors a facelift.

Tourism he said is one of the sectors they as a government have been following because it is among one of the critical areas that the ‘New direction’ government wants to use to diversify the country’s economy, move Sierra Leone from a mineral dependent economy to a new area that they can tap in for more additional resources for the development of the nation.

He said the Tourism industry is very closed to the new administration and that it is a sector that the President wanted to see developed in order to boost the country’s economy.

VP Jalloh stated that, he has no doubt that the Tourism In-Flight Traveltainment Magazine and the Tourist Information Office are a critical step in boosting the sector

He added that, it’s an indication that the tourism sector is one of the sectors that the government of President Dr. Julius Maada Bio wanted to move forward in order to make Sierra Leone more attractive to stimulate economic growth, create job opportunities and make Sierra Leoneans themselves enjoy the beauty of their country.

Dr Jalloh went on to state that, it is part of the ‘New Direction’ drive to identify where they can spend additional resources to turn around the country’s tourism sector as they believed it is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world.

“When you look at the productive nature of the tourism Sector and the critical innovations that are taking place in that sector and what it could bring in terms of economic dividend, I believe Sierra Leone has to tap into that sector.” He reiterated.

He maintained that, Sierra Leone has a lot to offer in the area of attracting tourist and business people. The offers he said ranged from wild life, parks, beaches to historical sites.

He furthered that, the tourism sector over the years has been over shadowed by critical challenges that have no doubt want to slow down the growth of the country that is capable of being on the map as a tourist attraction destination.

VP said as a government, they were able to take critical steps to overcome some of those challenges.

He outlined some the critical steps they have taken in order to boost the country’s Tourism sector. This he said among them, they were able to implement a Regulatory Framework to ensure that the prices of Air tickets to fly to Sierra Leone will become cheaper, the reduction of taxes on air travel to ensure that flying to Sierra Leone will become reasonable and the implementation of a visa on arrival.

He said that, they took up such ventures to attract more tourists and business people to the country. In the area of infrastructure, he said the government of President Bio is investing resources to develop infrastructure and boost tourist sites in the country.

In her statement, the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Mrs Memunatu Pratt told the gathering that, as a ministry, they have accomplished one of their milestones of rebranding, re-imaging Sierra Leone and also, change the negative perception of the country and make tourism a household name for people to know that tourism is alive and is being awakened from slumber.

She said the big role of their recent effort has to do with how they will inform, attract tourists and investors and how to get Sierra Leoneans to understand domestics tourism.

To do this, she said, they realized that information is vital hence the opening of the tourist Information office for people to get more information on the sector and the country in particular.

She went on to talk on the sector’s partnerships with a lot of Airline Agencies, Banks and international Agencies. She also talked on the symbiotic relationship between Tourism and Aviation.

The Chairman of Civil Aviation, Mr Patrick Kaikai in his statement said the launching of the magazine and commissioning of the Tourist Information Office have a positive impact on the Aviation industry. Tourism and Aviation, he said, complement each other and that they depend on each other hence the need for collaboration and cooperation with each other.

The representative from the Private Sector, Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, Dr Ekundaya Walton Gilpin in his remarks thanked the government of His Excellency for taking up such journey to empower, renovate, give stories about tourism in Sierra Leone to the people around the world.

He said the initiative to launch the magazine and commission the Tourist Information Office is an opportunity to start making people to be attracted to Sierra Leone as the country has the human resource capacity to nurture and give hope to Sierra Leoneans to make them understand that they have a positive story to tell about the country out there.

The Secretary Board of Airlines, Mr Edgar Lacle in his speech thanked the Minister and her team for such a positive move in the right direction.

 He called on Sierra Leoneans to be proud of their country as the In-flight Magazine will be added to the world list of In-Flight Magazines.

The magazine he said will help tourist and investors to discover, identify the beauty, uniqueness, rich tradition, culture, development strides, economy and politics of the country and her people.

Giving the purpose of the gathering, the Acting General Manager of the National Tourist Board, Mrs. Fatmata Abe-Osagie said the rationale behind the launching of the magazine and opening of the Tourist Information Office was to rebrand Sierra Leone.

The Chairman of the ceremony, the Deputy Minister of Information, Hon. Solomon Jamiru in his remarks, commended the Minister and her team for such initiative.

 He said today marks another milestone in the history of the country, as the country has got a magazine for tourists that will be placed in airlines, given to the country’s embassies and other missions abroad, financial players and public sector players.

He said the magazine encapsulated very interesting readings, stories and information about the tourism sector in the country.