Salone News

Mano River Bridge Opens Thursday

7 June 2007 at 00:46 | 589 views

By Jonathan Leigh,Freetown.

The Mano River Bridge, a vital trade link between
Liberia and Sierra Leone will be officially re-opened on
Thursday at Jendema, Pujehun District.
It serves as a link for economic
activities between the two countries.

Created in 1973 following an agreement signed by
then Presidents Siaka Stevens of Sierra Leone, Sekou
Toure of Guinea and William Tolbert of Liberia, it was
aimed at establishing closer economic cooperation in
the Mano River Union Basin, by joining the three
countries.

To exploit the full potentials of this grouping, the
development of basic infrastructure was identified,
and the construction of the Mano River Union Bridge
was the Union’s first project. Although the bridge was
completed in 1976, plans to establish a
Freetown/Monrovia highway to connect the two countries
were delayed because of the outbreak of hostilities in
the sub-region.

According to a press release from the Sierra Leone
Government,the re-opening of the Mano River Union
Bridge signifies the existence of peace in the
sub-region, thus facilitating the movement of goods,
vehicles and people between member states, and
strengthening the relationship between member states
to secure a fair distribution of the benefits of this
economic cooperation.

The re-opening ceremony will be attended by senior
officials of the Government of Sierra Leone, the Mano
River Union Secretariat, the Office of National
Security, the Sierra Leone Police, the Republic of
Sierra Leone Armed Forces, and IMATT. The United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United
Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL),
who have both supported the project, will also be
present at the ceremony.

About two months ago, Cote d’Ivoire became a member of
the union, a decision taken following a meeting in
Guinea, Conakry involving Presidents Tejan Kabbah,
Ellen Johnson-Sieleaf and host Lansana Conteh.

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