On September 28 Sierra Leone celebrates its National Day

28 September

On Monday September 28, Sierra Leone will celebrate its National Day in Expo Milano 2015. The official ceremony will begin at 10:30 in the Expo Centre, with the flag-raising national anthems and opening speeches. After this the delegation will walk along the Decumano to the Sierra Leone Pavilion, in the Rice Cluster, to visit the Pavilion and Cluster before moving to Palazzo Italia at noon for a guided tour, official photos, the signing of the Guest Book of Honor and the exchange of gifts. At 12.45 the official lunch will take place, after which the delegation will visit the Pavilions of Turkey, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates.


Sierra Leone, abundant natural resources and food, including kola, honey and rice

Sierra Leone can boast of astonishingly beautiful natural landscapes. To this day, the beaches of the Freetown peninsula are as beautiful as any other in the world. One of the country's features is its abundance of kola: a plant from the same family as cocoa, a piece of its fruit chewed after meals facilitates digestion, while its caffeine and theobromine content improves concentration. The kola stone from the south-eastern district of Kenema is especially famous for its taste and consistence, to the point where it has become a Slow Food Presidium. Likewise, there is a very special honey variety from the forest of Koinadugu, in the north of the country, with a dark dense color and an intense aroma of caramel and spices. Most honey producers are primarily rice cultivators who dedicate themselves to bees and beehives in periods when the rice paddies do not need working. Rice is, in fact, the country's main crop, with a per capita consumption among the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa: on average, each of the country's 6 million inhabitants eats a quintal of rice per year. This explains the country's presence in the Rice Cluster in Expo Milano 2015… the only African country in this Cluster.


The country's Pavilion in Expo presents the Smart Farm Village

Despite the country's resources and riches, a healthy and adequate diet is still not guaranteed for every family. This is why Sierra Leone is preparing a possible solution, which it illustrates for visitors to its Pavilion: the Smart Farm Village, a place where everyone's different skills are harnessed rationally to achieve collectively planned goals. In the Smart Farm Village, rice is cultivated, sustainable fishing is practiced, sheep, goats and hens are raised, medical centers and food education facilities are constructed plus schools, markets, irrigation systems and energy-producing systems. A new model of rural development which aims to make farming communities autonomous and reduce emigration towards big cities.