@CapitalFMNews

Sierra Leone scraps project for Chinese-built airport

2 months ago, 11 Oct 12:38

By: Agence France Pres ...

,

, Sierra Leone has scrapped a $400-million (347-million-euro) scheme for a Chinese-built airport, saying the project was too costly, but Beijing sought to dismiss the concerns on Thursday.

In a statement, the ministry of transport and aviation said that “after serious consideration and due diligence,” the government had determined the Mamamah International Airport initiative was “uneconomical”.

All contracts under the project are being terminated, it said on Wednesday.

China’s foreign ministry said Thursday the assertions that projects “do not contribute to local livelihoods do not correspond with the facts.”

“When cooperating with Sierra Leone, China always follows the principle of equal consultation,” spokesman Lu Kang told reporters during a regular press briefing.

Critics say China’s approach to development abroad is exacerbating debt problems in poorer countries, but Chinese and African leaders rejected such concerns at a summit in Beijing last month, with President Xi Jinping pledging another $60 billion for the continent.

Sierra Leone’s previous president, Ernest Bai Koroma, signed a loan agreement with China for the airport shortly before elections in March that his party lost.

His successor, Julius Maada Bio, vowed to stop the scheme.

He also lashed Chinese infrastructure projects generally as “a sham” that brought the impoverished West African state scant economic benefit.

The scheme entailed building a new airport around 50 kilometres (30 miles) outside the capital Freetown.

It would be completed in 2022 and managed and maintained by the Chinese.

But critics questioned the need for a new airport given that Freetown’s existing airport, Lungi, is operating below capacity.

The government on Wednesday said it was looking into the possibility of building a bridge between Freetown and Lungi airport – a scheme that has been priced at more than $1 billion.

The airport and another major Chinese project, a toll road, shouldered their way into Sierra Leone’s presidential election in March.

Several candidates declared the schemes were unaffordable and should be scrapped or reviewed.

Bio went furthest, going on record as saying “most of the Chinese infrastructural projects in Sierra Leone are a sham with no economic and development benefits to the people.”

China has provided infrastructure and development aid to Africa since the Cold War.

But its interest and presence in the continent have grown exponentially in the past two decades, in parallel with its emergence as a global economic giant.

China overtook the United States in 2009 as Africa’s biggest trading partner.

Chinese loans, meanwhile, have soared, especially in transport and energy infrastructure.

Some analysts have warned of a debt trap as some of the world’s poorest states struggle to repay their borrowings.

Between 2000 and 2017, China’s government, banks and contractors lent African countries $143 billion, according to the China-Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University in Washington.


Read More


Category: business

Suggested

2 hours ago, 21:58
@BusinessDaily - By: Patrick Alushula
International phone calls drop as Internet dials grow by 25.7pc

The number of minutes spent on Internet calls, also known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has risen by 25.6 per cent to 857,697 minutes, the highest since December 2016. ...

Category: business news opinion
2 hours ago, 21:58
@BusinessDaily - By: Kiragu Kariuki
LETTERS: Goat farming can help tackle food insecurity

Frequency in drought occurrence and climate change have constrained both agricultural and livestock production sectors exposing many households to food insecurity yearly. ...

Category: business news opinion
2 hours ago, 21:58
@BusinessDaily - By: Tom Mulwa,
MULWA: Time to plan for health needs after retirement

Life after retirement comes with special health-related challenges. ...

Category: business news opinion
2 hours ago, 21:58
@BusinessDaily - By: Jenny Lues
LUESBY: Banks need thorough regulation

My youngest son has a bunch of songs he trots out, each for the right moment. ...

Category: business news opinion
2 hours ago, 21:58
@BusinessDaily - By: Editorial
EDITORIAL: KRA silence worrying

The taxman’s failure to promptly respond to current technology challenges affecting the tax return system, iTax, is to say the least unhelpful. ...

Category: business news opinion
2 hours ago, 21:58
@BusinessDaily - By: Mwangi Muiruri
Nyandarua in Sh400m potato factory plan

Nyandarua County has set aside Sh400 million for construction of a potato value-addition plant at Shamata. Governor Francis Kimemia said the project will commence in January with a completion date of ...

Category: business news opinion

@CapitalFMNews

Sierra Leone scraps project for Chinese-built airport

2 months ago, 11 Oct 12:38

By: Agence France Pres ...

,

, Sierra Leone has scrapped a $400-million (347-million-euro) scheme for a Chinese-built airport, saying the project was too costly, but Beijing sought to dismiss the concerns on Thursday.

In a statement, the ministry of transport and aviation said that “after serious consideration and due diligence,” the government had determined the Mamamah International Airport initiative was “uneconomical”.

All contracts under the project are being terminated, it said on Wednesday.

China’s foreign ministry said Thursday the assertions that projects “do not contribute to local livelihoods do not correspond with the facts.”

“When cooperating with Sierra Leone, China always follows the principle of equal consultation,” spokesman Lu Kang told reporters during a regular press briefing.

Critics say China’s approach to development abroad is exacerbating debt problems in poorer countries, but Chinese and African leaders rejected such concerns at a summit in Beijing last month, with President Xi Jinping pledging another $60 billion for the continent.

Sierra Leone’s previous president, Ernest Bai Koroma, signed a loan agreement with China for the airport shortly before elections in March that his party lost.

His successor, Julius Maada Bio, vowed to stop the scheme.

He also lashed Chinese infrastructure projects generally as “a sham” that brought the impoverished West African state scant economic benefit.

The scheme entailed building a new airport around 50 kilometres (30 miles) outside the capital Freetown.

It would be completed in 2022 and managed and maintained by the Chinese.

But critics questioned the need for a new airport given that Freetown’s existing airport, Lungi, is operating below capacity.

The government on Wednesday said it was looking into the possibility of building a bridge between Freetown and Lungi airport – a scheme that has been priced at more than $1 billion.

The airport and another major Chinese project, a toll road, shouldered their way into Sierra Leone’s presidential election in March.

Several candidates declared the schemes were unaffordable and should be scrapped or reviewed.

Bio went furthest, going on record as saying “most of the Chinese infrastructural projects in Sierra Leone are a sham with no economic and development benefits to the people.”

China has provided infrastructure and development aid to Africa since the Cold War.

But its interest and presence in the continent have grown exponentially in the past two decades, in parallel with its emergence as a global economic giant.

China overtook the United States in 2009 as Africa’s biggest trading partner.

Chinese loans, meanwhile, have soared, especially in transport and energy infrastructure.

Some analysts have warned of a debt trap as some of the world’s poorest states struggle to repay their borrowings.

Between 2000 and 2017, China’s government, banks and contractors lent African countries $143 billion, according to the China-Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University in Washington.


Read More

Category: business

Suggested

2 hours ago, 21:58
@BusinessDaily - By: Patrick Alushula
International phone calls drop as Internet dials grow by 25.7pc

The number of minutes spent on Internet calls, also known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has risen by 25.6 per cent to 857,697 minutes, the highest since December 2016. ...

Category: business news opinion
2 hours ago, 21:58
@BusinessDaily - By: Kiragu Kariuki
LETTERS: Goat farming can help tackle food insecurity

Frequency in drought occurrence and climate change have constrained both agricultural and livestock production sectors exposing many households to food insecurity yearly. ...

Category: business news opinion
2 hours ago, 21:58
@BusinessDaily - By: Tom Mulwa,
MULWA: Time to plan for health needs after retirement

Life after retirement comes with special health-related challenges. ...

Category: business news opinion
2 hours ago, 21:58
@BusinessDaily - By: Jenny Lues
LUESBY: Banks need thorough regulation

My youngest son has a bunch of songs he trots out, each for the right moment. ...

Category: business news opinion
2 hours ago, 21:58
@BusinessDaily - By: Editorial
EDITORIAL: KRA silence worrying

The taxman’s failure to promptly respond to current technology challenges affecting the tax return system, iTax, is to say the least unhelpful. ...

Category: business news opinion
2 hours ago, 21:58
@BusinessDaily - By: Mwangi Muiruri
Nyandarua in Sh400m potato factory plan

Nyandarua County has set aside Sh400 million for construction of a potato value-addition plant at Shamata. Governor Francis Kimemia said the project will commence in January with a completion date of ...

Category: business news opinion
Our App