The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved funding of US$88.2 million for the Mano River Union’s third phase of the Road Development and Transport Facilitation Programme.
The Mano River Union is an international organisation founded in 1973 by Liberia and Sierra Leone following the signing of the Mano River Declaration.
The Mano River rises in the Guinea highlands and forms the Liberia-Sierra Leone boundary. Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire have joined the Union.
The approval involves grants totaling $35.1 million for Sierra Leone and $8.9 million for Liberia from the African Development Fund.
Liberia will also get a loan from the ADF of $31.8 million and a loan from the Transition Support Facility window of $12.44 million.
The program’s third phase comprises upgrading 50 km of road in Liberia and 25 km in Sierra Leone to bitumen standards.
In addition, the program would fund feasibility studies for the construction of 170 kilometres of roads in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Other aspects of the project include the construction of a 276-metre bridge connecting Guinea and Sierra Leone across the Makona River, the development of socio economic infrastructure, and the support of women and youth organisations to foster much-needed private industry.
The program aims to improve the quality of the roads between Kailahun and Koindu on the Sierra Leone-Guinea border, as well as the Putuken-John Davies Town segment on Liberia’s Fish Town-Zwedru axis.
The improvements will improve the Makona River crossing’s safety and conditions, as well as accessibility and quality of life for local residents.
The project will also empower women in the program’s coverage region through boosting agricultural output and selling, as well as other income-generating activities.
The Bank joined the Road Development and Transport Facilitation Programme in 2015 as part of a special endeavour to improve road infrastructure and promote intra-community trade in the Mano River Union area following the end of the conflict.
The project will be funded in stages. Phase 1 is nearing completion and covers Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Guinea; phase 2 is ongoing and covers Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.
The African Development Bank Group has 16 ongoing operations in Liberia with a total commitment of US$390 million as of February 2022..