Country Session 5: Sierra Leone

Chaired by Omotunde Johnson (IGC), the Sierra Leone session featured Sylvester Gasopan Goba (Deputy Minister of Tourism and Culture of Sierra Leone), and Cecil Williams (General Manager of the Hotel and Tourist Board of Sierra Leone). They presented their views and the country’s challenges on developing tourism as a high-yield avenue of export diversification and key to the development of post-war Sierra Leone.

The presenters focused on the diversity of tourism possibilities in Sierra Leone and the main struggles to development of the sector. Among the binding constraints to realizing high returns from this promising sector are i) lack of coordination among different Government Agencies, ii) a very low marketing budget, iii) lack of human and institutional capacity, iv) limited government support, v) poor infrastructure, and vi) obsolete regulatory framework. Looking forward, the Hotel and Tourist Board, coupled with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, see their role as facilitating coordination between the government and private sector in carrying through both practical and strategic reformations of the sector. The main issues to be addressed in this direction include providing access to tourism financing to the private sector, improving accessibility to tourism (mainly infrastructure) and diversify the tourism sector itself into including cultural tourism and active tourism.

Audio is unavailable for this session.