Sierra Leone Telegraph: 8 May 2023:
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt last week granted Sierra Leonean citizenship to 50 African Americans claiming to have Sierra Leonean roots, in a ceremony held at the National Museum in Freetown.
Presenting the country’s passport to the newly sworn citizens of Sierra Leone on behalf of President Bio, Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt said President Bio would normally confer citizenship but was unable to do so on this occasion due to other commitments.
The African Union (AU) she said has identified the Diaspora as the 6th region of Africa with potential to enhance the human resource capacity of the continent.
The Minister explained that Sierra Leone is an exemplar of African American relationship but the path to citizenship was missing, which the government is responding to by granting Sierra Leonean citizenship to diaspora Africans, in particular because slaves from Sierra Leone contributed to the development of modern-day America.
She told the newly conferred citizens that there are many ways they can assist in helping to develop the country, as some are already doing, as well as serving as good ambassadors of Sierra Leone to America.
It is not clear how much the government of Sierra Leone charges for citizenship, but it is thought that in the last five years, President Bio’s government may have raised tens of millions of dollars in revenue from the sale of Sierra Leone’s passport. The government does not publish those figures.