Tourism Ministry, Tourist Board Hand-over Refurbished 24 Bedroom Hotel and 6 Classrooms to MMTU

The Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and the National Tourist Board with support from the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Tier 2 under the Sustainable Tourism Development Promotion Project (STDPP) have commissioned and handed-over the 24-bedroom hotel, kitchen, restaurant, prep service and 6 classrooms of the Hotel and Tourism Training Centre (HTTC) to Milton Margai Technical University (MMTU) Brookfield campus

In his opening remarks, Permanent Secretary who doubles as Chairman for the ceremony intimated that they were gathered to witness government’s commitment to providing world-class infrastructure for learning a practical experience in the hospitality sector with the aim of training skilled professionals who will in turn contribute to the growth of the country.

Giving the rationale of the project, General Manager, NTB, Fatmata Hamid Carew gave a brief background of the project starting from the endorsement of a MoU between EIF Trust Fund Manager-United Nations office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the government of Sierra Leone to the approval of the repackaged STDPP with the overarching objective to create an enabling environment to revamp the tourism sector in Sierra Leone. She mentioned the training needs assessment revealed gaps in supply and demand needs, a deficiency that precipitated the introduction of an Integrated Tourism and Hospitality Curriculum for the sector and the subsequent turning of sod of the refurbishment of HTTC. She appreciated the EIF for their support and confidence while hoping that the facility will serve as a beacon of hope for the hospitality sector.

Peter Donelan, EIF’s Country Coordinator explained the EIF’s mandate as mentioned in SDG 8. a for economic growth that was built on country ownership facilitating demand driven interventions as well as trade development partnership between all Least Developed Countries (LDCs). He added that the EIF funded Sustainable Tourism Development and Promotion Project (STDPP) was approved in 2019 and was pleased to see that the project is now fully completed with the hope that the improved facilities at HTTC will contribute towards helping the next generation of tourism professionals.

Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Nabeela Tunis in her keynote address maintained that the unveiling and handing-over of the refurbished 24-bedroom hotel and 6 classrooms of HTTC to MMTU was a momentous landmark in the evolution of the tourism landscape within the confines of MMTU and also a testament to the concerted efforts of the government and the donors (EIF) STDPP, an achievement that resonated with President Bio’s Big Five Game Changers.

“It is imperative to recognize that within the framework of the new Medium-Term National Development Plan, tourism has been strategically positioned as a catalyst for the 5 game changers with our role extending beyond mere hospitality training but also fostering educational growth, self-empowerment and job creation”, she added.

She took cognizant of the pivotal role of the Hospitality and Tourism School, hence funding was sought to refurbish essential infrastructure that will facilitate practical learning experiences essential for students transition into the job market. She underscored the significance of their commitments to economic diversification catalyzed by recent graduation of 800 artisans and well as other notable endeavors that epitomized the intricate interplay of the tourism multiplier effect and value chain. She furthered that the unveiling of the facility resonated with the ongoing Tourism for All Campaign theme of March, Create and Innovate. She called on the beneficiaries to make use and safeguard the equipment to ensure perpetuation of benefits for future generation. She on behalf of President Bio thanked the donors, and recognized all former Ministers and Managers that contributed to this outcome.

The facility was handed over to the Chancellor of MMTU, Dr. Victor E. A. Kabia. Other speakers, including the Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Dr. Ramatulai Wurie, and Trade and Industry Minister, Ibrahim A. Sesay laid emphasis on the importance of having an improved hospitality facility that will train students and also bridge the human resource capacity gap in the sector.

MTCA Communications