Sierra Leone: AfDB Group Supports Transport Sector

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Sierra Leone: AfDB Group Supports Transport Sector

Ouagadougou, 18 May, 2006  - The African Development Fund and the Government of Sierra Leone today in Ouagadagou signed a grant agreement of 1.99 million Units of Account (UA*), equivalent to US$ 2.93 million, to finance the Maotoka to Sefadu Road Studies and Institutional Support Project. The project will contribute to the development of the transport sector which will support national economic and social development objectives.

The agreement was signed by Mrs. Zeinab El-Bakri, ADB Group Vice President of Operations (OCVP) and Mr. John O. Benjamin, Sierra Leonean Minister of Finance.

The project comprises two components. The road study component will determine the technical feasibility and economic viability of improving approximately 129 km of road from Matotoka to Sefadu and associated feeder roads of approximately 391 km in its zone of influence as well as carry out the environmental and social impact assessment, including poverty, health and gender issues. The study will lead to detailed engineering designs and preparation of Tender Documents. The Institution component will strengthen the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) and enable it to plan, budget and manage it capital investment and maintenance programmes more efficiently.

The Matotoka to Sefadu road study has the following sub-components: feasibility study and preliminary engineering design; detailed engineering design and rural feeder road studies. The Institutional Support for Capacity building sub-component consists of the following sub-components: preparation of a vehicle overload control policy and action plan; creation of a transport sector data bank at Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA); and capacity building and training.

A total of 860,000 inhabitants, who live in the road corridor and mostly engaged in agricultural production, are to directly benefit from rehabilitated road network, improved physical access to services, markets and revenue generating opportunities, lower transport costs as well as increased efficiency in delivery of transport services.

The total cost of the project, net of taxes and customs duties, is estimated at UA 2.10 million, of which 95% is foreign cost and 25% is local cost. ADF will finance the entire foreign exchange cost (UA 1.06 Million) and part of local cost (UA 0.93 Million). The Government of Sierra Leone will contribute the balance of local costs.

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