Ripsta Culture to Participate in Finland 100th Anniversary Celebration
Ripsta Culture Musical Group left the shores of Freetown Sierra Leone to participate in the Faces Festival to mark the 100 years anniversary celebration of Finland on the theme “Post Ebola Bloodless Diamond Sierra Leone”. (Photo: Director, Office of Diaspora Affairs, Kallay Musa Conteh, Deputy Director and Obi Phrase sitting at far righ)
Speaking at a press briefing held at the Office of Diaspora Affairs prior to the departure of the group, the Sierra Leone Music Ambassador to Europe, Osman Obai Kamara aka Obi Phrase recognized the input of the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, National Tourist Board (NTB) and Committee on Tourism Affairs in Parliament.
“Today we shall travel to represent Sierra Leone to join the Finish people in observing their 100 anniversary ceremony in Finland”, Obi Phrase told Journalists adding that they will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish the Sierra Leone/Finland Cultural Centre at Kent village.
Phrase said the project geared towards rebranding Sierra Leone by making it known to the world.
“Now we have 709 Carats found in Kono District at a time the country is enjoying sustainable peace” said the Music Ambassador and he therefore invited the Diasporas to come and invest in Sierra Leone which has been rebranded from Blood Diamond to Bloodless Diamond.
He recalled that the recent Global Peace Index Report ranked Sierra Leone as most peaceful country in West Africa and third most peaceful nation in Africa as a whole.
He stated that the delegation comprised four Government Officials including the Head on Committee of Tourism and Cultural Affairs in Parliament, Hon. Gladys Gbapy, Tourist Board Managing Director, Yassin Kargbo, the Sierra Leone Ambassador to European Union (EU), Ibrahim Sorie Kamara, Sierra Leone Ambassador to Germany, Jonko P. Stevens among others and fifteen artistes from the Ripsta Culture. He concluded that the group will visit Finland, Estonia and Sweden before returning to Sierra Leone.
In his presentation, Director, Office of Diaspora Affairs in the Office of the President, Kallay Musa Conteh highlighted that his office is supervised by the Ministry of Public and Political Affairs to reach out our fellow Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora to come back home and join the country’s investment strides. He said they are working with local banks and the Sierra Leone Central Bank to know how much money the Diasporas are sending for development.
He Said Ripsta Culture based in Finland and has its component on Sierra Leone and emphasized the manner in which the group has helped a lot in elevating education through music. He reiterated the importance attached for Sierra Leone to be part of such an important global engagement because the country’s rich cultural heritage will not only be showcased but we would also make strong ties with Finland.
The Director prayed that the journey will be undertaken and the schedule activities for Finland will be implemented as required and he sensitized Ripsta culture members that they should promote the image of the country because they are the country’s Ambassadors to Europe.
By Alhassan Bangura
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