Having successfully concluded a study-tour on wildlife tourism in Kenya, Dr. Memunatu B. Pratt, the Minster of Tourism and Cultural Affairs of the Republic of Sierra Leone and her counterpart, Hon. Najib Balala, the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife of the Republic of Kenya led their respective delegations in bilateral talks at the Kenya Wildlife Service headquarters in Nairobi.
They discussed several issues relating to wildlife tourism; environmental management and coordination; conservation and management; Kenya and biodiversity multilateral governance; private sector and conservancies; and ways in which Sierra Leone can benefit from Kenya’s vast experience in the tourism sector.
It is worthy to note that these discussions were subsequent to the goodwill between the two countries, triggered by President Bio’s visit in Kenya in 2019 which piqued interest in establishing a wildlife sanctuary and to seek assistance in the promotion of wildlife tourism in Sierra Leone.
In engaging with the Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Memunatu Pratt expressed her profound gratitude to HE President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Government and the People of the Republic Kenya for their support and their exceptional hospitality. She emphasized the importance of establishing bilateral agreements and the historical relations between Kenya and Sierra Leone. Also, Dr Pratt reiterated President Bio’s passion and his unyielding commitment to diversifying Sierra Leone’s tourism sector.
Highlighting Sierra Leone’s interests and concerns, the Minister requested the need for the swift arrival of the Kenyan Wildlife technical team in Sierra Leone to undertake the proposed feasibility study as the next step in the process. The Minister further emphasized having audiences with relevant MDAs and people of interest in conservation and tourism as well as private public partnerships.
In his response, the Cabinet Secretary expressed that he was honoured to host Dr. Memunatu Pratt and delegation in Kenya. He voiced hope for increased cooperation with Sierra Leone not only in tourism but in diverse areas, while assuring Dr. Pratt of Kenya’s unwavering support to Sierra Leone in expanding its tourism sector.
Honorable Balala on his part gave a clear picture of some of the breakthroughs and challenges facing the Kenyan tourism industry. He also spoke about the Kenyan conservancies and Wildlife, Forest Conservation and Management; Legal Framework for Biodiversity in Kenya, Protected Area Network, Conservation Alliance and challenges in wildlife conservation management.
Dr. Pratt’s delegation included the Sierra Leone High Conmissioner to Kenya, Madam Isatu Aminata Bundu, who endeavoured to continue conversations in Nairobi and further strengthen the existing bilateral relations between Sierra Leone and Kenya.
Sierra Leone High Commission in Kenya