AfDB approves US$88.2m for construction of roadway infrastructure in Liberia and Sierra Leone
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved US$88.2 million finance for road development and transport facilitation works in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The construction of the roadway infrastructure in Liberia and Sierra Leone forms is part of the third phase of the Road Development and Transport Facilitation Programme for the Mano River Union.
The Mano River Union is an international association initially established between Liberia and Sierra Leone in 1973 under the Mano River Declaration. The Mano River begins in the Guinea highlands and forms a border between Liberia and Sierra Leone. The Union now includes Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire.
The Road Development and Transport Facilitation Programme for the Mano River Union is a special initiative to boost the post-conflict recovery of the Mano River Union area by improving road infrastructure and promoting intra-community trade. AfDB signed onto the programme in 2015.
The programme is being financed in phases. Phase 1, which is near completion, covers Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, and Guinea; phase 2, covering Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire, is ongoing.
The US$88.2 million funding approval for phase 3 covers African Development Fund grants worth US$35.1 million for Sierra Leone and another US$8.9 million for Liberia. Additionally, Liberia will receive a loan of US$31.8 million from the ADF and another US$12.4 million loan from the Transition Support Facility window.
Phase 3 of the Road Development and Transport Facilitation Programme involves the upgrade to bitumen standard of 50 kilometres of roadway in Liberia and 25 kilometres in Sierra Leone. Phase 3 funding will also finance feasibility studies for building 170 kilometres of roads in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Other components of the programme are constructing a 276-metre bridge over the Makona River between Guinea and Sierra Leone, developing socio-economic infrastructure, and supporting women and youth associations to promote much-needed private enterprise.
The program is intended to help improve the standard of the roads linking Kailahun to Koindu, on the border between Sierra Leone and Guinea, and the Putuken-John Davies Town section, which is on the Fish Town-Zwedru axis in Liberia. The works will boost the safety and conditions of the Makona River crossing, as well as accessibility and quality of life for local communities.
African Development Bank Country Manager for Liberia Benedict Kanu underscored the timeliness, relevance and value-added of the program in helping to bolster regional integration and trade in the Mano River Union.
Country Manager for Sierra Leone Halima Hashi indicated that in addition to opening up the region, this phase 3 will generate many urgently needed jobs for young men and women during the construction and maintenance phases.
The project will empower women in the program coverage area through stimulation of agricultural production and marketing, and other income-generating activities and help restore forest ecosystems to mitigate the effects of climatic change and other extreme weather events.
Top Photo: Bandajuma, Sierra Leone - Liberia road project (Ambrose James | @AmbroseJames12 Twitter Handle)