Sierra Leone’s Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt has upon the responsibility given to her by President Bio conferred Sierra Leonean citizenship to 50 diaspora African that traced their roots to Sierra Leone through African Ancestry. The ceremony was held at the National Museum in Freetown.
Having signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with African Ancestry, the Tourism Ministry and its agency, the Monuments and Relics Commission (MRC) have been collaborating in the facilitation and coordination of the authenticity, integration, orientation and affiliation of diaspora Africans that traced their roots to Sierra Leone.
Presenting Sierra Leonean passports to the newly sworn citizens of Sierra Leone on behalf of the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Rtd. Brig. Dr. Julius Maada Bio, the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt noted that the occasion was special for a sitting President to give the responsibility to a Minister in conferring citizenship on his behalf. She said President Bio has always been conferring citizenship on diaspora Africans but could not make it due to extraordinary situations. She told the audience that African Union (AU) have proclaimed Diaspora as the 6th region in order to enhance the human resource capacity of Africa. She explained that Sierra Leone was a bastion of African American Relationship but the path to citizenship was missing, a reason they are taking the granting of Sierra Leonean citizenship to diaspora African seriously because Sierra Leone slavery history contributed to the development of modern day America.
She told the new Sierra Leoneans that there are lot of areas they can give back and was impressed by the laudable initiatives and undertakings some are already into across the country. She maintained that it was an important milestone they have taken in achieving the citizenship and encouraged them to serve as a voice of Sierra Leone in America, engage communities on what the country was about and galvanise their interest. She on behalf of President Bio congratulated them on their citizenship and encouraged them to be good ambassadors of Sierra Leone.
Established African American who traced their roots to Sierra Leone and relocated to the country explained their wonderful experience in doing business and contributing to the development of Sierra Leone. They encouraged their compatriots to invest in Sierra Leone and explore the natural ambiance of this beautiful land.