By Mustapha Ezekiel Dumbuya & Mohamed Juma Jalloh
The Sierra Leone Hospitality and Tourism Association has on Wednesday 15th June 2022 held its national election at the Lagoonda resort in Freetown.
In an exclusive interview with the newly elected president for the association, John Shallop said he was very excited for being elected as President of the Sierra Leone Hospitality and Tourism Association.
Giving an overview of forming the Association Mr Shallop explained that over the years, there was an association called the Hotel and Tourism Association but noted that the association only regulates the Hotels in Sierra Leone.
He continued that as interim president there was a lot of discussion with regards forming another umbrella association that will embrace the entire Tourism sector in the country, whiles noting that Sierra Leone can boast of different businesses in the Tourism sector such as beach bars resorts and hotels.
“This is the main reason why we decided to form the Sierra Leone Hospitality and Tourism Association which is the umbrella body that will cover and regulate all the other sectors in the industry and further expressed hope to collaborating with any other big sector that is ready to join them”, he underscored.
The president confirmed that the Sierra Leone Hospitality and Tourism Association is now well diversified and well represented.
According to the president, as it stands the Tourism sector has widely expanded, which is why every business entity wants to stand on their own.
Having served as interim president, the president elect stated that his position was regularised because stakeholders in the sector repose tremendous trust and confidence in his leadership.
He continued that before forming the association they held consultative meetings and agreed to establish a secretariat, develop a constitution that is binding on all tourism stakeholders that cuts across the country.
“I have made the association to gain a lot of recognition to the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs which has lent massive support to the association. The support has led to the improvement of private sector led tourism”, he explained.
Mr Shallop disclosed that they took on the issue with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the executive chairman on the exorbitant cost of hotel fees which was priced at 10 to 15000 dollars, but noted that through their engagement the price for EPA licenses and environmental has been drastically reduced to 2000 dollars.
The President revealed that he had being working immensely with the Freetown City Council (FCC) and other institutions to sanitise the sector.
He also expressed determination to sell the tourism potential of Sierra Leone across the Sub-region in West Africa and furthered that that he has travelled to Spain to represent the private sector during an exhibition programme.
In giving out the plans for the sector, Mr Shallop said that the Association had excellent and committed board members with very high qualifications and they will try to see how they can try to develop some project that will help the industry in diverse ways.
According to Mr Shallop his main focus as president of the Sierra Leone Hospitality and Tourism sector is to boost capacity building services in the sector.
He expressed a solid resolve to woo the airline industry across the world to divert their operations to Sierra Leone and to activate tour operators.
Mr Shallop went further in urging the government to make the visa on arrival competitive similar to what obtains in neighbouring countries.
The president said he is very passionate about what he is doing and concluded that he loves Sierra Leone and wants to see Sierra Leone get to the peak of the hospitality sector across West Africa.
Orange Foundation SL celebrates African child day with disabled kids
By Feima Sesay
Orange Foundation SL has on Thursday 16 June 2022 celebrated the International Day of Africa Child with Disabled Kids across the country.
The theme for this year`s celebration is eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children.
The events took place at Orange SL headquarters attended by children from the Milton Margai School for the Blind, National School for the Deaf, the Albinism Family, teachers from these various institutions and their parents.
Orange Foundation SL was established early last year with the initiative of promoting free quality education in the country, reducing high maternal health mortality in the country, the establishment of the first ever digital center for women and girls, donation of menstrual hygiene pads to girls to name but a few.
Speaking on behalf of Foundation, Desmond Spaine gave a brief history as to why June 16 is commemorated every year.
He said in 1976 children were killed in Soweto South Africa by while men and that during the process every opportunity and facilities were cut off from the black race, adding that due to the all-out war in South Africa, it was difficult for the children at that time to get quality education.
In his explanation he further said because the children were denied of having good education they decided to protest by calling on the white government to listen to their cry but were denied and that during the process the police of South Africa open live firing on the children that led to the death of thousands of them.
He said all what the children were protesting to call the attention of the authority to acknowledge their right to be educated.
“That is why all around the world June 16 is celebrated and called the day of the Africa Child, this day is important to us all as we are not only mourning the death of our brothers and sister that died in South Africa in 1976 but also we are celebrating it because all the children need to learn”, he stated.
The children were well entertained by the foundation with music, gifts and lot of different Africa food to name but a few.
Orange Money unveils 8 brand Ambassadors,
Proffers Solutions to Electricity Challenge
By Feima Sesay
Orange Money SL has on Wednesday 15th June 2022, officially unveils and sign partnership with 8 brand ambassadors in the entertainment industry.
The event took place at their Headquarters office Hill Station, Freetown.
This partnership is for orange money to promote the entertainment industry across the country and also for the ambassadors to help sell their brand.
The said Ambassadors are Henrietta Bayoh, Yeamata, Pitwizzy, Kindo Armani, Blizz, Robino, Saio d comidian and Alima Sesay.
In her welcome address, Naomi from Orange Money said she is overwhelmed because this is the first time orange money to actually host such a programm by involving all angle of the media which includes TikTokers, Artist and comedian.
“In achieving our goals as a company, what we want to communicate is that we are mixing everyone around our customers to feel comfortable and relaxed”, she stated.
One of the Orange Money staff Philip Macualey in his remark as to the purpose of the event is to officially sign partnership with the brand ambassadors.
He described the ambassadors as people who have done very well in their careers with outstanding brand and an amazing character.
He added that as a company, the ambassadors are the kind of people they are bringing on board to partner with, adding that they are not just at the event as friends but to partner with Orange Money for the benefit of both the company and the ambassadors.
Philip added that though their brands are doing well already but said with the partnership their brand will improve more and through the ambassadors also the company will gain a lot.
The Chief Executive Officer Orange Money David Mansaray in his statement prior to the signing of the contract said his vision for orange money is to ensure that it is promoted right across Sierra Leone, adding that for them to achieve that goal, himself together with Management strongly believe that they can only grow, if they grow together with their own.
According to him, that is why they have shifted a bit from just doing billboards but to be more focus on promoting their local artist in the country ranging from musicians to other fields.
” So therefore we expect to participate and collaborate with you to not only promote you but in the process you sell our brand as we go along and it is my hope that in your respective fields you continue to excel”, he noted.
The CEO added that the ideas behind the partnership is to get the celebrities across to join hand with Orange Money in order to promote the brand and in the process orange money support the initiative of the ambassadors which he said is very important.
He added that these are the Kind of partnership and collaborative effort they expect to see going forward.
So many other entertainers including TikTokers witnessed the events. In another development
Orange SL Proffers Solutions to Electricity Challenge
It goes without saying that energy rules the world. The modern day world is run by energy, needed for almost every human endeavour on planet earth and beyond.
As the cost of electricity continues to soar all around the world, private institutions are coming to the fore to provide alternative energy source with reduced carbon effect on the planet.
Therefore in a bid to meet to customers’ demands for electricity, Orange SL introduced the Orange Energy solar power package which provides as much electricity as one can afford with reliable and consistent power supply, a project that has become a sought after by the public.
These Solar panels are made of highly excitable, conductive materials.
The Orange energy solar comprises of two separate solar packages for customers. Namely Premium kits; which comes with a Plasma TV, 5 Bulbs, Radio, Torch, Solar panel and a Battery that powers all the above named appliances.
The TV contains an inbuilt decoder with access to more than 500 free stations including our local TV stations like SLBC.
The other type of solar is the Basic kits; which comprises of 3 bulbs, solar panel and battery.
Orange energy mode of payment is Pay as you go a very flexible form of payment which took into consideration the economic situations of our customers especially those living in rural or remote areas who cannot afford to pay cash.
Payment can be made either through Orange Money or using physical cash.
For both form of payment a customer has to pay an upfront payment which is not part of the first installation fee;
If the customer chooses the Paygo model then the customer will have to recharge separately on weekly or monthly basis for a certain periods until he/she finishes payment for the full cost of the kits. The product then will be unlocked and becomes free for the owner forever without any further payment or subscription.
On the other hand if the customer pays cash, the product will be automatically unlocked and the customer will enjoy perpetual light without any further payment.
Orange energy solar installation is free of charge with a two years warranty.
However, no refunds are available for this package, even on the upfront payment.
Customers need not worry about when to subscribe as you will be notified by SMS 24 hours before your subscription ends.