January 29, 2016 By Yeabu M. Bangura
Leader of a 16-man delegation from the Hull City Council in the United Kingdom, Councilor Daren Hale, has disclosed that Freetown has been linked with Hull.
Councilor Hale was speaking to newsmen at the weekly presser hosted by Ministry of Information and Communications at Youyi Building in Freetown.
He said the purpose of their visit to Sierra Leone was to strengthen relationship between the city of Freetown and Hull city in the United Kingdom, and to further maintain civic, cultural and educational links.
“As part of the on-going development links between the two countries, we will be providing opportunities for artistes from Sierra Leone to be involved in the Hull 2017, UK City of Culture programme, which is a major international cultural showcase that will involve Freetown as its twin city,” he explained.
The Hull City Councilor further told newsmen that the two cities were twinned in 1979 at the instigation of former Sierra Leone High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr. S.T. Matturi, who was a graduate of the University of Hull, to promote friendship and understanding between the cities of Kingston Upon Hull and Freetown, and strengthen commercial, educational and cultural links between the two cities, plus to stimulate and foster mutual exchange at all levels between people of the two cities.
Director of Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE) at the University of Hull, Professor John Oldfield, said the institute has strong links with Sierra Leone in the areas of education and outreach.
According to him, the visit has provided an important opportunity to strengthen and develop existing links between the two cities, while at the same time exploring the possibility of future cooperation between the University of Hull and the University of Sierra Leone.
Prof. Oldfield said teachers from some schools in Hull city have also joined the trip to visit partner schools in Freetown.
Director of British Council in Sierra Leone, Simon Ingram-Hill, said the Council has a long-standing relation with Sierra Leone and played a key role in coordinating the visit of the delegation from Hull.
Mr. Ingram-Hill stated that the visit would provide an opportunity to strengthen links with schools, the university, civic, sports and cultural artistic levels.
“A good number of our Freetown based links are between Hull and Freetown. British Council is also a strategic partner with Hull 2017 and I see real opportunity for the result of the scoping visit to broaden our own educational and cultural programme here in Freetown,” he said.