Chief Minister of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Jacob Jusu Saffa has during his engagement with the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs commended the Minister, Dr. Memunatu Pratt and her team for the show of leadership and commitment in repositioning the tourism sector.
The Chief Minister as part of his tour of government ministries, agencies and departments visited the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs where he was greeted by Cultural Performance. The purpose of the visit was to ascertain what is being done by the Ministry and how the challenges can be remedied.
Welcoming the Chief Minister to the Ministry, the Permanent Secretary of the Tourism Ministry, Andrew Sorie said it was a pleasure to host the Chief Minister saying that he has got a wealth of experience in both governance and the private sector and that they relied on the skills brought by him to help in the Ministry’s development process. He added that as the Ministry is cleaning the image and building the tourism and cultural sector of the country and also exporting the unique features of Sierra Leone to the rest of the world, they are looking up to the Chief Minister for assistance in getting things done.
In his statements, the Chief Minister, Jacob Jusu Saffa thanked the Ministry for the traditional welcome saying that it speaks volume of what the Ministry is all about. He stated that the purpose of his visit was for the Ministry to have a proper understanding of the role of the Chief Minister and how it works with the Ministry, to understand where the Ministry is with regards key deliverables and also identifying and addressing challenges of the Ministry.
He maintained that the mandates of the Chief Minister includes coordinating, facilitating and to do follow-ups on the mandates of the various MDA’s and ensuring that Presidential decisions and pronouncements are done and to also monitor the implementation of sector policies, strategic plans and annual work programmes, because that is where the Ministry will be judged, he stated.
The Chief Minister applauded the Ministry for strides made in the development of the hospitality sector while emphasizing that the strategy for domestic tourism should be intensified and expanded to every part of the country. He urged the Ministry to champion the National Cultural Festival to promote the various cultures of Sierra Leone and also the construction of the National Art Gallery.
In her remarks, the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt said she was delighted to host the Chief Minister saying that since she assumed office three years ago, she had be trying to build the relevant infrastructure, policies and legal framework for the sector to thrive, thus the visit of the Chief Minister was a clear manifestation of how they can closely work with him especially in addressing the challenges of the Ministry.
She articulated gains made by the Ministry and shared the challenges faced by the sector. Presentations were made to the Chief Minister on key deliverables and programmes implemented by the Ministry and its agencies by the Ministry’s Director of Tourism, Mohamed Jalloh.
Heads of the Ministry’s sub-vented agencies, the National Tourist Board (NTB) and the Monuments and Relics Commission (MRC) appreciated the visit of J.J. Saffa while telling him that they are constrain in implementing their programmes and activities.
The Chief Minister was taken on a conducted tour of the Ministry and was impressed by the level of work done in giving the Ministry a facelift.