The controversial Mamamah Airport in Sierra Leone will go ahead as “all obstacles are now cleared”, according to the outgoing Chinese ambassador to the country.
Speaking today at a conferment ceremony awarding him an honorary PhD degree by the University of Sierra Leone, Ambassador Zhao Yanbo said President Ernest Bai Koroma was scheduled to pay a state visit to China before the end of the year.
Both World Bank and the International Fund have advised against building the airport questioning the cost and the timing of it. The airport is expected to cost around $ 300 million and is to be pre-financed by China.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone, Prof Ekundayo Thompson praised the ambassador for his country’s increased support to education in the country. He said he had enhanced cultural exchange by expanding on the study of the Chinese language through the establishment of the Confucius Institute
He also praised his leadership role during the Ebola outbreak of 2014/2015 which saw the Chinese Centre for Disease Control deploy medical equipment and personnel.
China has more than doubled its scholarship programmes for Sierra Leoneans to study in the Asian country and gives $15, 000 annually as grant to the university’s brightest students.