Lungi Bridge will be good for Sierra Leone – World Bank executive director tells president Bio

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 1 December 2019:

Last Thursday, the executive director of the World Bank Group for Africa – Group 1 Constituency, Anne Kabagambe, told President Dr Julius Maada Bio that his government’s vision of constructing a bridge across Lungi to mainland Freetown, will be one of his greatest achievements for Sierra Leone, according to State House report.

Speaking with the President at State Lodge in Freetown, she said that the World Bank is working with the government of Sierra Leone as close partners in development, through a partnership framework that is driving their conversation.

She said that African countries are now moving into the digital economy, and commended the Government of Sierra Leone for its commitment to developing the country’s human resource in response to the demands of the digital economy.

The World Bank she says, will work with the government of Sierra Leone to deliver on the country’s ambitions.

Presenting the World Bank Chief to President Bio at the State Lodge, Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa said that Madam Kabagambe is an important factor in their engagement with the World Bank.

He added that she is a very experienced technocrat with years of professional service and representing twenty-one African countries at the Bank.

President Bio said that his government is fully committed to developing the country. He said Sierra Leone has had quite a lot of challenges, and therefore quite a lot to do to surmount those challenges.

He said he values the partnership and cordiality between Sierra Leone and the World Bank, for which he expressed his gratitude to the Bank.

President Bio told the World Bank chief that his government started off with a very difficult economy in 2018, for which he has had to work hard to stabilise the situation. But, he said that there are still challenges.

He mentioned that his government has started the process of digitalisation, so as to catch up with the global economy.

“The Lungi bridge, for us, will be transformational because it is important to open up this country. We have identified it because it is going to open up the country, and we are determined to continue with it. We are committed to better the lives of our people and we are creating the eco-system that invites investments,” the president said.

Prior to her appointment as Executive Director in November 2018, Ms. Kabagambe served as Alternate Executive Director for the same Constituency for a period of two years. She also possesses over thirty years of work experience in the development arena.


  1. Thank you very much Mr. Anthony Moiba for your views on this matter. By the way, the cost for the construction of the Lungi Bridge was estimated around two billion dollars. That is a lot of money.
    I don’t think you will address my concerns on this project or make me smile. Maybe you could sometime down the road. Construction of the bridge is development to our country. No one can dispute that Anthony. But when one looks at the cost and other development projects such as health, road networks, agriculture/irrigation, transportation to name a few that really need attention, I will not support this project.
    Also, it adds to our external debt which is now in the billions of dollars. Why should we continue to accumulate such huge sums of money for future generations to pay whilst not providing the present generation of their basic needs? We were on this road(accumulating DEBT) since INDEPENDENCE and up till now, NO SOLUTION. SAD. We should now figure out new strategies to service our development projects rather that swallowing BITTER AUSTERITY MEASURES for DEBT.
    Thanks Mr. Anthony Moiba for your contribution as always on this platform and may GOD BLESS YOU.

  2. In my quiet moment, I used to wonder why out of 197 countries on the planet earth, Sierra Leone is the least developed in human capital development. Thanks to the Almighty I found the answer in this forum. The mindset of our population which according to the 2018 election is about 48% of APC members and supporters believe that the ideology of stealing is normal, and whenever they are confronted with the truth they always lose their mental balance and resort to personal insults, attack, if possible violence and threats of war.

    How can the discussion about the Lungi Bridge and Ebola stolen funds have any relation to questioning the creation of the Almighty who choose to create every human differently. Every human thumb prints, voices and looks is unique and I personally believe that everybody should feel very comfortable in their skin.

    It’s unfortunate that President Bio is unable to pay the rent and moving people from BAFFA to mansions built by most corrupt APC officials but I hope and pray that after confiscating most of those mansions ( after the COI ) that has been built from stolen monies from the nation, the president will move some of those people from the BAFFA to those mansions.

    Finally l personally believe that the construction of the Lungi Bridge will help motivate most of the APC party supporters that live idly in the slums of Freetown back to their towns and villages, and hopefully will be engaged in agriculture which will definitely help reduce poverty and hunger in the country.

  3. Anthony Moiba,

    Good analysis. It is frustrating that no matter how well President Bio and his men explain the circumstances surrounding the Lungi bridge, many of their critics would either fail to comprehend or just have no desire the comprehend the issues.

    For goodness sake the $2 billion price tag on the bridge is money that Sierra Leone does not have. The bridge will be built on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) contract. What this means is that the eventual winner of the bid will construct the bridge with his/her company’s resources, operate it for twenty two years after which ownership and control will be transferred to the Sierra Leone government. Contracts of this nature are common in South America, especially in Brazil.

    Sierra Leone cannot force investors to invest in sectors or projects that they are not interested in. Thus, if an investor prefers to invest in the Lungi bridge as opposed to our healthcare sector, can we force him/her to have a change of mind?

  4. Mr Kaikai…..until you can prove beyond all reasonable doubt that Ebola funds were stolen….sshhhhh! Now let’s be sincere,people are hungry,and yet you have a President that looks like the undisciplined heavy weight boxer Larry “Easton Assassin” Holmes – as flabby looking as Jello.(lol) Yep,we have an all Flabs,and no Abs President! (lol)What kind of message is this huge feeding President sending to those who are poor,struggling, hungry,and starving by becoming so so morbidly obese?

    Its clear,that you guys do not care about his well being at all,otherwise someone would have told him the truth,that he is racing swifty towards the brinks,and edges of Heart,and Cardiovascular diseases.Put him on a fat free,low calorie,sugar free diet,and see if his mindset doesn’t change quickly into a positive one.(lol)But then again,if his mindset changes,and he starts thinking constructively there wouldn’t be a need for a billion dollars, expensive,unnecessary Lungi bridge,would there?

    So your strategy behind the scenes is to keep him overweight,by feeding him unhealthy cow,and pork entrails,bush meat,and all those greasy stuff,that block,and clog up his arteries,huh? I gotta admit…You Caterpillars,are the meanest living species on the planet earth.(lmao) Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  5. This is exactly the reason why Saidu Conteh is incomparable. A poor nation like our own must have priorities. And building a Lungi bridge should not be on the top of that list. I know a lot of people including relatives of mine who do not,and cannot afford to rent,or owng even a small BAFFA for themselves,and the SLPP is trying to build a bridge,that will only plunge our nation into more debts.

  6. Anthony Moiba
    “ Does it matter who made that declaration or who nodded??? The Lungi bridge will be a damn good infrastructure for us all.”

    Moiba, my Sierra Leonean compatriots, based on the title of the article, yes, its absolutely matter who in fact made the statement or declaration. I believe many of us are attach to this newspaper because of its neutrality and reputation of doing their very best to report on events happening back home unbiased. So, if i discovered some discrepancy in regards to what the headlines of the article portrays and the context of the article, i believe it’s the right thing to seek for clarification.

    Now, most Sierra Leoneans will like to see the Lungi bridge project comes into fruition; however, most Sierra Leoneans are also concern about the cost factors, specifically, the over a billion dollar estimate. The question begging an answer is, will a billion dollar bridge brings about drastic economic transformation that will elevate our citizens from their current deplorable state, or could it be wise that we invest such amount of money in other more beneficial means?

    • Of course I do respect your concerns, but to be honest with you the billion dollar bridge will be part of the solid foundation needed to transform our country. I want that bridge, Freetown wants it, Guinea wants it, Kasiri wants it, Konakridee wants it, Bumbuna wants it, Kabala wants it, Kono wants it (is Mr. Matturi smiling??), Bonthe wants it and of course you too!

      Are there risks involved, for sure there are risks just like any other development project. We as a Nation (APC, SLPP, NGC, C4C, all the political agitators out there and of course my Salone People) should stand behind this project but at the same time not close our eyes to farming, electricity, education, health and good institutions. I have no FEAR for DEBTS because we have the RESOURCES to service them. I want us to succeed as a NATION!!

  7. Where were you Saidu Conteh when sucking mothers went hungry and the Ebola funds ended up in Makeni? Where were you when funds for flood victims mysteriously vanished into the pockets of apc bosses and their henchmen like you Mr Conteh? A thief has no shame! Enjoy your loot.

  8. Director Kabagambe must have regretted mentioning the Lungi Bridge Project during her visit in my view. Such a divisive issue is again for discussion and people are definitely going to hammer each other on all fronts. I hope that, World Bank officials in the future would avoid STATEMENTS on DIVISIVE POLITICAL ISSUES when they visit our country.

    They should be focusing on how to help reduce the ages old DEBT of our country rather than making statements on POLITICALLY DIVISIVE ISSUES such as the construction of the Lungi Bridge. A word for a wise is quite sufficient. GOD BLESS Director Kabagambe.

  9. Oh, Mr. Moiba, space technology that is your dream? How many millions of indian people still have nothing to eat, suffering like millions of Sierra Leoneans. Only a small elite in india and elsewhere profit from this nuclear development
    including weapons – and now the target, who will dominate the space. That is an imperialistic politics against the majority of the people worldwide. We the normal people have to stand up for a radical change.

    • Mr. Wiecha for us to succed as a Nation we need to build a solid foundation on several levels of development e.g. good institutions, road infrastructures, good schools and affordable healthcare. This government in my opinion has started doing exactly that. There are mistakes of course but the direction and approach are encouraging. In terms of conducting elections they are doing badly and they need to also improve in national cohesion!!

      Poverty in Sierra Leone  cannot be compared to that of the US, India or some other parts of the world.  We need to urgently bring more farming to our people than politics and more birth control than political thuggery, if you know what I mean!! The future lies in Africa, the earlier we recognise that the better for us all.

  10. This is a positive signal that the World Bank Executive Director is sending to potential investors that will be willing to invest in the Lungi Bridge project which President Bio has categorically stated that his government cannot afford due to the bad economy that he inherited from the past APC government. I still recollect that the world Bank categorically cautioned the past APC government about the predatory loan that they signed with a Chinese bank which should have destroyed and even mortgage our nation to China for decades.

    But thanks to the Almighty, the people of Sierra Leone elected President Bio who is slowly and gradually transforming our nation from a failed state and beggar nation to a proud and prosperous nation based on partnership and respect. The international community especially the World Bank ( USA is the biggest shareholder) just converted a $20 million loan to a $50 million grant based on the performance of the new direction government and I believe that the USA government through our MCC performance score card will reward our nation with more developmental projects especially Electricity and Water infrastructure.

    I hope and pray that the APC negative supporters will think about Sierra Leone first and stop hoping and praying for the new direction government to fail, because whenever they fail the people of Sierra Leone will definitely continue to suffer.

    • Anthony Moiba: “There are mistakes of course but the direction and approach are encouraging. In terms of conducting elections they are doing badly and they need to also improve in national cohesion!!”

      Kudus to you my brother for your honesty and patriotism in the above comments. Comments like that from party supporters like you will even make the SLPP a more formidable party. While we all support different political parties, the uncontested commonality we all share is the love for our motherland, hence we all want to see a peaceful and progressing Sierra Leone. Our political masters in Sierra Leone are ordinary beings just like us, they are far from being a deity or goddess, hence we should never worship them.

      When they make the right choices for our nation at large, we must applaud them; on the flip side, whenever we notice digression from the things that will unite us as nation or derail our development plans, it’s incumbent on us as Sierra Leoneans and by extension party supporters to call these individuals out. The worst any of us can do for mama Salone is to blindly support our leaders, be it in the APC or SLPP. The only winner in such scenario are the leaders themselves, mama Salone and her offsprings suffer.

  11. To build Lungi Bridge as recommended by smarties from the World Bank and other “experts” reminds me of the same World Bank’s recommendation to Siaka Stevens and Solomon Pratt to tear down the railway. Who suffers now? This blunder is one legacy President Bio will forever regret. Forget about this bridge you believe will cost Sierra Leone nothing and build an airport within the economic zone of the western rural area. This is simple reasoning.

    Calculate the cost of a new airport and roads built leading to this airport. Next, you get a free bridge from Freetown across the saltwater river to Lungi. Check the proposed bridge span; check the corrosive effect on its steel structure and accessories; and the required maintenance – frequent and thorough. Who operates the bridge and what is the payroll? Figure these factors in the bridge’s operating cost. And now, what are users willing to pay to use this bridge to cover these costs?

    Both Engineering and Cost analysis supporting this project are flawed and seem to be heavily influenced by the purveyors of this project. We cannot build and maintain roads on terra firma but are “wise enough” to fall into this Chinese trap.

    Wake up Sierra Leone; we don’t need a bridge to mortgage any part of Sierra Leone. Get off the fantasy land and be realistic.

  12. Indeed. One of his greatest achievements of his PRESIDENCY will be if that HUGE and MIGHTY BRIDGE is constructed. Remember that HUMPTY DUMPTY had a great fall when he did not sit properly on the wall. According to the article and I quote “Anne Kabagambe, told President Dr. Julius Maada Bio that his government’s vision of constructing a bridge across Lungi to mainland Freetown, will be one of his greatest achievements for Sierra Leone, according to State House report”.

    This just tells me that the WORLD BANK has no APPETITE, INVOLVEMENT or ASSOCIATION with this PROJECT. The LUNGI BRIDGE PROJECT is purely a SLPP/BIO ADMINISTRATION dream or legacy. GOOD LUCK Mr. President for the construction of the Lungi Bridge. By the way Mr. President, why not use that money to bring back the rail or improve on the road network in the entire country? This bridge makes no sense right now. GOD BLESS YOU Mr President and GOD BLESS the Lungi Bridge to be.

  13. Again the project Lungi bridge, a lot of bla, bla. I believe there are more important projects for your country. I am a big supporter of more women power, but please no technocrats. We have enough men on our globe.

  14. AGAIN..with the expensive,unnecessary,billion dollar Lungi bridge(lmao) It seems to me this government,doesn’t know what the words, PRIORITY,and PRESSING NEEDS really mean. I mean seriously,how disconnected from reality are these people? Millions are struggling to make ends meet,cannot afford two solid meals a day,and these clueless,selfish,mean-spirited, unsympathetic ignoramuses are once again,anxiously yearning to build a needless bridge? But then again, I am not surprised,why should they have to worry about sucking infants going hungry without milk,when there bellies are round,and full?

    Take a look at this President,and you will see that he is a HUGE FEEDER,with nothing decisive,and constructive on his unproductive mind.Who the hell cares what unremorseful exploiters like the World Bank thinks? These same cruel,and heartless people that have destroyed many nations through their devious policies,are the ones our incompetent Finance Minister is calling a trusted friend? Imagine that!(lol)

    We must make our decisions based on the interest,and urgent needs of the struggling masses,not on what some criminal minded entity dictates to us.Let these money lending wolves disguised in sheep clothings – CLEAR OFF,we don’t need their self-centered advice in this county at all! A billion dollars,in capable hands is enough to transform this nation easily into a little paradise on earth,Yet you good for nothing’s are anxious,and desirous of flushing it down the drains of unproductivity? A damn shame! Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  15. We are watching.very sublime for our country SIERRA LEONE to see The Maada Bio Lungi International Bridge to be constructed.We need a president that is bold and tough.Who can challenge our inherited problems despite all odds,we stand with you.

  16. “The Lungi bridge, for us, will be transformational because it is important to open up this country. We have identified it because it is going to open up the country, and we are determined to continue with it. We are committed to better the lives of our people and we are creating the eco-system that invites investments,” the president said.

    As per the above quotation, I am confuse regarding the title of the article. Who said what? Did the world bank representative made the declaration of the need to continue with the Lungi bridge or just nodded in agreement after the topic was brought up by the president? More clarification is needed!!

    • Does it matter who made that declaration or who nodded??? The Lungi bridge will be a damn good infrastructure for us all. If India is to furnish her people first with enough food, clean water and good toilet facilities before going to space, then they would never could have ventured into the space technology and the same goes for the USA and China!!

    • “A billion dollars,in capable hands is enough to transform this nation easily into a little paradise on earth,Yet you good for nothing’s are anxious,and desirous of flushing it down the drains of unproductivity?” Please Mr. Saidu Conteh pass this statement also to your ‘chairman for life everlasting’, I would be very much interested to read his answer.

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