Sierra Leone’s new international airport will open the doors of trade and investment

Project Director for the soon-to-be constructed Airport at Mamamah, sounded optimistic and extremely confident, disclosing that the new Airport, when completed in the next few years will “wide open the doors of Trade and Direct Foreign Investment” for Sierra Leone.  Morlai Buya Kamara recently made these remarks in the corridors of a meeting held with the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China during an interview with the Press/Communication Officer of the Sierra Leone Embassy in the People’s Republic of China.

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AMBASSADOR FOH (LEFT ) AND MR. BUYA KAMARA

Mr. Buya-Kamara was in China to meet the Technical Team of the Concessional Loan Department of EXIM Bank to provide some clarifications on Technical and Financial details relating to the New International Airport Project at Mamamah.

Construction works are expected to commence in the next few months and are scheduled to be completed on target within a period of 36 months.

The Project Director said that when completed, the new Airport Will put the country in an advantageous position to compete favorably in International Trade and Commerce. Relocating the Freetown International Airport from Lungi across the estuary of the Sierra Leone River to Mamamah on the main land brings with it lots of benefits to the country in virtually every sector of the economy.

Expressing optimism for the economy, Mr. Buya-Kamara said that GDP growth that was estimated for 2013 was revised upwards to 20.1% and the projections for 2014 remain very strong and well above the 6% per annual growth rate projected for Africa by the IMF. This is important as GDP projections have huge potentials to drive the Airport Passenger Traffic Growth projections. There is also a huge prospect for increased Multiplier Effect in the Economy and related service industries, Mr. Buya-Kamara said.

The Project Director is working round to clock and in collaboration with stakeholders in the Ministries of Finance and Transport, he used the visit to brief His Excellency Victor Bockarie Foh on progress made so far in preparation for formal Commissioning and effective Construction works.

A team of Engineers from China Railway International, Project Contractors, is already on the ground putting in place arrangements for a Works Yard. Construction equipments are expected to begin to arrive in Sierra Leone by September this year and sites have been identified for relocation of about 60 affected communities.

Responding, His Excellency Victor Bockarie Foh commended the Project Implementation Unit for work done so far while urging the Project Director to continue to do even more because the Airport Project was a key component of Sierra Leone’s Agenda for Prosperity.

Speaking further, Ambassador Foh called for collaborative efforts amongst all stakeholders and gave commendation to the Sierra Leone Government, through the Ministries of Finance and Transport, for courage and commitment to see the project through.

“When work starts, I am certain, knowing the Chinese for Hard Work and Discipline, China Railway International, the Contractors, will give Sierra Leone the New Airport at Mamamah within the expected time frame in accordance with details of contract”, Ambassador Foh concluded.

EXIM Bank made a commitment to continue to support Sierra Leone’s Development Plans and more especially, the new Freetown International Airport at Mamamah.

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