World Bank advises Sierra Leone not to increase debt to build Mamamah Airport

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Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone has said the timing for the construction of a new airport at Mamamah is not appropriate. The position of the World Bank is that the government should focus on priority areas that are important for post Ebola recovery.

“We are not opposed to the construction of the airport in the future when there will be the need for additional support from international partners, but it is not appropriate for the government to embark on such a project now.” Kerali said.

He said he hopes that the government would wait as has been agreed on after several meetings held to convey the shared position of the Bank and the IMF.

“We hope they concentrate on areas to boost the country’s economy,” He noted.

Kerali’s statement comes after an IMF briefing that advised the government not to increase its debt with an airport that would cost about 11 percent of its gross domestic products.

At the UN General Assembly in September of this year President Koroma met with President Xi Jinping of China in hopes of securing a $315 million loan for the construction of the airport that has been in discussion as of 2013.

Neither the Minister of Transport nor the government spokesman were available to comment.


Reporting by Amadu Lamrana Bah