It’s not in the Pacific Ocean. It’s in the Atlantic Ocean. It is called Sierra Leone. With 212 miles (360 kilometers) of North Atlantic Ocean coastline, this West African country offers some of the best beaches on the continent. Several islands dot its coastline made up of the Banana Islands consisting of Dublin, Ricketts, and Mes-Meheux; Bunce Island; Kagbeli Island; Sherbro Island; Timbo Island; Tiwai Island; Turtle Islands; and York Island.
Today in Germany at ITB Berlin, the Hon. Minister of Tourism and Culture, Mrs. Memunatu Pratt, was greeted by the African Tourism Board (ATB) Chair Juergen Steinmetz when he had a moment to thank the Minister for Sierra Leone’s membership in the ATB and for the country’s support of fellow African country, Nepal’s Tourism VIP event, Visit Nepal 2020 launch, that will happen tomorrow on April 7 on the sidelines of ITB.
Tourism was identified in Sierra Leone’s New Direction Manifesto as one of the key drivers for socio-economic development, diversification, and transformation. The tourism sector is considered an important growth sector of the government as it possesses huge potential for tourism development ranging from a variety of excellent beaches to rich bio-diversity and cultural heritage. This led to Sierra Leone becoming known in tourism as the Hawaii of Africa.
At Sierra Leone’s presentation, the Minister had shared how they are promoting her West African country under this new theme, taking tourism in an exciting new direction. The opportunities for tourism development under this theme focuses on the pristine beaches, cruise tourism, eco-tourism, island development, and the country’s culture and roots. Sierra Leone’s immediate tourism target markets are Europe, the US, and West Africa.
Sierra Leone gained its independence from the UK on April 27, 1961 and is run as a constitutional democratic government. The climate is pleasantly tropical with an average temperature of 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 Celsius). With mountains in the east, an upland plateau, wooded hill country, and a coastal belt of mangrove swamps, there is much to be explored and enjoyed in this new Hawaii.
Also in attendance at the presentation from Sierra Leone were Mr. Mohamed Jalloh, Director of Tourism; Mrs. Fatama Abe-Osagie, Acting General Manager of the Sierra Leone Touristic Board; Ambassador H.E. Dr. M’Baimba Lamin Baryoh, Sierra Leone Embassy Berlin, Germany; and Deputy Ambassador Mr. Jonathan Derrick Arthur Leigh, Sierra Leone Embassy Berlin, Germany.