Monday, July 8, 2013

■ CHINA: Sierra Leone Government finalizes $8billion worth of infrastructure projects including new airport for Freetown.

Sierra LeoneSierra Leonian president,  Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, finalized a USD300million deal with the China Railway International Company for the construction of a new international airport to serve Freetown during his recent week-long trip to China. The airport forms part of a group of investments totalling USD8billion China is set to make in the impoverished West African state.

Lungi Airport Terminal
Lungi Airport Terminal (SeanMendis)
The new airport, to be situated in Mamamah, 60 kilometres (40 miles) from Freetown, will replace the current Lungi International Airport, whose inaccessibility has become a major hindrance to the development of the city and country. Lungi currently obliges travellers to choose between a four hour road journey to the capital or a trip in the water taxi (45 minutes) using a ferry.
"I am happy to say that the Chinese have made a very serious commitment to support us in our development programmes," said Koroma, who met Chinese President Xi Jinping during the visit.
According to The Associated Press, President Ernest Koroma said on Friday that he had also signed deals for USD1.7billion including one with the Kingho Energy Group to build a port, mine, power plant and 250km railway.

Lungi previously operated as a British Royal Air Force base.