The Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, the National Tourist Board (NTB) and the Monument and Relics Commission (MRC) have held a civic education and investment workshop for Africans Americans tracing their roots to Sierra Leone. The workshop which was attend by MDA’s and the Private Sector was held at Country Lodge, Hotel in Freetown.
Giving the purpose of the gathering, the Administrative Manager of the MRC, Ann-Marie Kamara said the essence was to expand on the knowledge of Diaspora Africans on the authentic history of Sierra Leone and identify possible areas of investment. She said the workshop was also about telling them the do’s and don’t’s, know more about their ancestors, the opportunities available to them and to encourage them to come home and connect with their families. The Commissioner and Chairman of the Monument and Relics Commission, Joseph Kaifala centered his contribution on the causes and trends of slavery. He mentioned that Sierra Leone was the true hub for African emancipations, hence it is but prudent for Diaspora African to contribute to its development.
The Director of Culture, Foday Jalloh explained the ethic dynamics of Sierra Leone, it rich cultural history and heritage. He noted that Bunce Island is the most significant Island in sub-sahara Africa with regards slavery and was the place of no return. He commended the Africans American for tracing their roots and return to Sierra Leone as their home. “Sierra Leone is recognized for strength in diversity and am craving on your indulgence to heave on the call to be true Sierra Leoneans”, he concluded.
In her statements, the Deputy Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Khadijatu Grace Ahene Kamara took the African American on a journey back to their roots and the rich cultural heritage of Sierra Leone and the African American community. She explained that the country is an eclectic mix of both regional and international influences that is home to a great diversity of ethnic groups whose distinct cultures contribute to the richness of the Sierra Leonean culture. She maintained that the potential of their tourism development as a nation are enormous and they are expanding on the foundation already laid by putting meaningful policies and strengthening professional institutions for promoting inclusive growth and diversifying economic activities through product development.
She mentioned that they have received over 350 Diaspora Sierra Leoneans that have contributed immensely to the economy of Sierra Leone. She called on them to be positive ambassadors for the rebranding and promotion of Sierra Leone’s heritage and culture with a continental and global mindset.
Interactive presentation sessions by MDA’s and private sector institutions on business models and possible areas of investment was part of the event.
Closing the session, the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Nabeela Tunis applauded the diaspora Sierra Leoneans for coming back to Sierra Leone, she encouraged them to not only gain the citizenship but to contribute to the growth of the nation. She presented certificate of participation to all the African Americans in appreciation for their contributions during the workshop.