The Union of European Experts Chambers (UCEE) has met with Sierra Leone’s Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr Memunatu Pratt at her Kingharman Road Office in Freetown. The meeting was to notify the Ministry of a funding opportunity in the area of cultural heritage.
The union of European Experts Chambers (UCEE) is a diplomatic organisation and a body of the European Union (EU) that lobbies for a fund for developing countries to execute their programmes. They aim to ensure that the government agenda is accomplished by taking into consideration development, good governance and the promotion of cultural heritage.
The Project Director of UCEE, Carlos Richard Sankoh, explained that their existence in Sierra Leone is symbolic and signifies the values other countries have for Sierra Leone. He said their key focus is the development and good governance of which cultural heritage is key. He said they will be having the African Continental Trade Area Conference in Brussels which he expects the Tourism and Cultural sector to participate and compete with other countries in the promotion of trade fairs and cultural heritage. He disclosed that there is a funding opportunity for the development of cultural heritage in Sierra Leone and called for a partnership between the Ministry and UCEE in harnessing this opportunity.
On her part, Dr Memunatu Pratt welcomed the experts to the ‘home of hospitality’ saying that she was impressed by the organisation’s call for partnership with the Ministry. She recognised the support of the European Union for the country’s development. She highlighted that the tourism discourse cannot be sustained without talking about investment, cultural heritage promotion, job creation, climate change and the global crisis which she said have an impact on tourism and culture.
She welcomed the invitation to participate in the African Continental Trade Conference and assured me that the partnership with UCEE will be fruitful, adding that the funding opportunity for the Ministry is good. She concluded that there are a lot of tourism and cultural projects including a national memorial museum and art gallery that are awaiting funding.