EIF supports Tourism for the Reconstruction/Rehabilitation of the 24 Bedroom Hotel and 6 Classrooms of HTTC
14th May, 2021
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Aim of the EIF in Sierra Leone
The EIF creates genuine partnerships among Least Developed Countries, donors, partner agencies, the EIF Executive Secretariat, the EIF Trust Fund Manager and other development partners who are supporting LDCs’ own drive to:
Mainstream trade into national development strategies
Set up structures needed to coordinate the delivery of trade-related technical assistance
Build capacity to trade, which also includes addressing critical supply side constraints.
This brings the light ever wanted since the inception of the projects. But today The Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and the National Tourist Board (NTB) with support EIF for the Sustainable Tourism Development and Promotion Project (STDPP) financed by the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Tier II have in august gathering at the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology (MMCET) Brookfields Campus turned the sod for the long awaited reconstruction/rehabilitation of the 24 bedroom hotel, kitchen, prep/service room and 6 classrooms of the Hotel and Tourism Training Centre (HTTC), Brookfields campus now accredited to the Milton Margai College of Education Science and Technology, Faculty of Tourism and Nutritional Sciences.
Commencing the ceremony and stating the Purpose of the gathering, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Andrew L. Sorie said that the Ministry and NTB have taken the queue from President Bio in enhancing human capital for national growth. Reiterating that for the tourism and hospitality sector to grow and position Sierra Leone, it must be catered for and treated with the protocols and standard quality it deserves, with the reconstruction/rehabilitation of the facilities of HTTC, this place the destination in a better form to market and lull regional tourism schools to reach us for capacity building.
National Tourist Board, Fatmata Kroma the first female general manager narrating the holistic overview of the project, the General Manager said that the implementation of the STDPP financed by the EIF Trust Fund started on the 20th May, 2012 after the execution and signing of the MOU between the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the Government of Sierra Leone. She stated that the total fund committed was USD2,990,000 for a period of three years to undertake development initiatives proposed by NTB that covers sector governance, product development, marketing and capacity building within the tourism sector.
The GM noted that the project was forestalled and at the risk of loosing the funding opportunity, but with the appointments of the Tourism Minister and the Minister of Trade, they pioneered the conversation with the EIF Donor Partners for the recommencement of the project, adding that in consideration of the prudent fiscal financial management policies of the government as well as the leadership exhibited by the Minister of Tourism, Dr. Pratt, approval was given to recommence the STDPP-EIF Tier 2 on the proviso that the project should be repackaged and aligned with the National Mid-Term Development Agenda. She concluded that the project was repackaged and approved in February, 2020 at the tune of USD1.5Million.
The Principal, MMCET, Dr. Phillip Kanu said that for us to move as a nation, tourism must be at the forefront, hence the reconstruction/rehabilitation of the HTTC Brookfiels Campus. He applauded the Minister of Dr. Pratt and the Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Professor Alpha T. Wurie for their roles in reviving MMCET.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Edward H. Sandy in his remarks said that one of the best ways to change the nation is to strengthen its human capacity in meeting the demands of the labor market, domestically and internationally. He continued that Sierra Leone has numerous potentials particularly in the tourism sector which is largely untapped.
In his statement, the Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Professor Alpha T. Wurie gave a brief background of MMCET saying that Sierra Leone began to think futuristically many years ago. He expressed delight that the Ministry of Tourism is investing in its own property, the MMCET. He furthered that MMCET will be a Technical University with degree options in Tourism. He applauded the Principal of MMCET, Dr. Phillip Kanu for the leadership shown in restructuring MMCET.
The Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt in her keynote address maintained that despite the devastating effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the Tourism and Hospitality sector, her Ministry has undertaken many reforms and infrastructural developments with the focus on positioning the industry to becoming a powerful catalyst for improving the socio-economic conditions of Sierra Leoneans.
She said that the success and competitiveness of our destination highly depends on the competence and quality of our human resource capacity that requires suitable expertise in order to provide the appropriate services for the Tourism and Hospitality industry, hence the turning of the sod for the construction of the training college as a clear signal of the expected increase in demand for a technical tertiary training college on hospitality management.
She pointed out that the drive to the transformation of the Tourism and Hospitality sector is based on five pillars; tapping into new markets, developing new products, promoting investments, building new partnerships and strengthening human capital. She noted that President Bio under his leadership prioritized Human Capital Development as his flagship program that aims at generating a critical sector of highly educated, trained and skilled citizens with the capacity to undertake research and development, pursue innovations and learning and start productive SMEs.
She stated that the repackaged STDPP prioritizes the HTTC with addressing several needs, saying that the HTTC needs substantial refurbishment and renovation of its facilities that include the 24 bedroom hotel, classrooms, kitchen and prep and serving rooms.
She concluded by applauding the government of President Bio and particularly the former Minister of Finance, Jacob J. Saffa for their roles in ensuring that the STDPP is launched.