The Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs in partnership with AfriCaribbean have launched the AfriCaribbean Festival at the Ministry’s Conference Room, Kingharman Road Freetown.

The Festival will be a blend of Sierra Leonean and Caribbean culture and will happen from the 28th December, 2022 to 2nd January, 2023 at Radisson Blu Hotel in Freetown.

In his opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Andrew Sorie said the Ministry is the hub for tourism and cultural affairs in Sierra Leone, while thanking the team for identifying Sierra Leone for such a huge event which he said has the potential to aid in changing face of the tourism sector.

Giving the overview of the festival, the Project Lead of the AfriCaribbean Festival, Adrian Q. Labor said the initiative started seven years ago, when he visited Trinidad and Tobago where he witnessed a Caribbean festival of huge magnitude and economic benefits, which he said they want to replicate in Sierra Leone. He said the event will be a six-day festival starting from the 28th December 2022 to 2nd January 2023 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Freetown, where top Caribbean and Sierra Leoneans artists will showcase their musical prowess. “We want to make Freetown a hot spot of tourism, hence the country’s history is linked to that of the Caribbean”. And that the festival will connect borders through culture and music with partners coming from different parts to explore what the country’s tourism’s has, citing the beautiful beaches and other touristic sites. Sierra Leone is the right destination for this festival, giving Africa the opportunity to reconnect, he maintained.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, William I.K. Robinson was overwhelmed by the initiative saying that the festival is a home call as it relates directly to indigenes of Sierra Leone. He thanked the team for their ideology in trying to shape the face of tourism in the country.

Launching the AfriCaribbean Festival, the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt maintained that Sierra Leone is changing rapidly as many things are happening in quick succession in the sector.

“These days we are very impress with the diaspora particular in the area of tourism,” the minister stated. She said so much have been done in the industry in changing the narrative around tourism industry. Adding that they were very passionate about root tourism, noting the AfriCaribbean festival will complement the gains made to same.

She called on the organizers of the AfriCaribbean Festival not only to focus on the festival but go beyond and explore other touristic areas and assured of government support to their course.