The minister of Tourism, staff and its Agencies has bade farewell to the outgoing Iranian Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Akbar Khosravinezhad during a ceremony that was held at the Ministry’s Head Quarters in Kingharman Road in Freetown with the presentation of a certificate to him.

Akbar Khosravinezhad who was coming to the end of his 4 years Ambassadorial assignment to Sierra Leone has been one of the most passionate foreign diplomats towards the development and capacity building of the tourism and hospitality industry in Sierra Leone.

Notable among his Embassy’s support to the sector was the training of over 50 women from across the country on handicraft by four Iranian handicraft experts, an idea that was proposed by the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt.

The outgoing Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ahmed Mustapha thanked the Iranian Ambassador for his time in Sierra Leone saying that it has been of considerable help to the country especially the tourism sector.

In her comments, Minister Pratt said they were gathered to express their profound gratitude for the support they received from the outgoing Ambassador saying that it was the Tourism Ministry that the Ambassador first started doing cultural diplomacy on. She mentioned that the Ministry and the Iranian Embassy were able to put a number of programmes together, notably the memorable arts and crafts training workshop where the Embassy and particularly the Ambassador was able to facilitate the presence of four female trainers from Iran who trained over 50 women on different aspects of handicraft adding that it was the first historic handicraft training that was organized for ten days.

She, on behalf of the people of Sierra Leone, presented a certificate to the Ambassador and extended their thanks and appreciation to the President and Government of Iran for the support they received expressing the view of looking forward to many collaborations especially in the fields of tourism and culture.

Receiving the certificate, Ambassador Khosravinezhad thanked the Minister and the entire sector for recognizing his work especially as it has to do with cultural diplomacy.

He assured that the cultural diplomacy between the two countries and the advanced training of women on handicrafts will continue after which he presented to the Minister a handicraft that was made in Sierra Leone which is now used in Iran in appreciation of the work done by women during the handicraft training workshop.