Rebuilding a sustainable city of Freetown – a rejoinder

Dr. Samuel Ofori Onwona: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 25 August 2019:

Why is Sierra Leone delaying the Tripartite Investment Programme (TIP)? The African Development Bank worked with former President Ernest Bai Koroma to host an international conference on the Tripartite Investment Programme.

Seven Potential investors attended the conference and registered interest in the TIP.

I designed the TIP as the most feasible option to optimize the economic value of Lungi as the new capital of Sierra Leone, complemented by the Lungi-Freetown Bridge, plus a modernized expanded Lungi airport which would make Freetown the hub of Africa to North and South America.

A year after my voluntary retirement, I got a call from the USA State Department when Ernest Bai Koroma visited America. Bechtel USA was lobbying the American Government for the TIP Contract.

China 7th Railway Company plus powerful investors from Brazil Steel Company, India and South Korea are all interested in the TIP.

Yes for now, the steel business has slowed down but you have diamond deposits and other precious minerals in the 8km long estuary.

It takes a little ingenuity to put this investment package together through some barter arrangement that provides concessions of 20-25 year term, via a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT/Boot) model – as appropriate.

The opportunity cost of maintaining Freetown as capital is wickedly outrageous, when the TIP can transform Sierra Leone into one of the most modern countries in the world.

You may wish to engage Julius Berger for the new Lungi capital. China 7th Railway is also competent to build you a modern capital.

Sierra Leone wake up and move forward. The TIP is your solution. It took me three solid years of prayer and deep thinking to receive this divine solution when I was there as Country Manager of the African Development Bank .

Nobody, including all the development partners believed anyone would attend the TIP conference. The attendance was shocking. More importantly, the investor interest was outstanding. I attended meetings with president Bai Koroma and two of them at the presidential residence.

Sierra Leone, stop wasting time and get the TIP implemented. You will never ever regret it.

Author

Dr. Samuel Ofori Onwona, former Country Manager of the African Development Bank in Sierra Leone .

3 Comments

  1. I’m with you Dr. Onwona! Debt is not the problem but servicing it, correct! I can say with confidence that, we are in the position to service any debt burden today, if we can forget our political party politics and do the following:
    – form a government of national unity, with the best brains we presently have
    – strengthen and professionalize our institutions
    – invest in sustainable electricity, agriculture and eco-tourism
    – invest in vocational education and science
    – invest in the health sector
    And if all the tribalists, political thugs, regionalists, vote rigging experts, sycophants and praise singers could come together for the better of our country, no DEBT can stand in our way to prosperity.

  2. Should everything prove out well, what burden will the population share? Sierra Leone will ever be indebted. Development thinking and in black and white, how can this be moved to working condition and the final stage?

    Everybody might be asking themselves how this important investment will work in the country. Sierra Leone is still surffering from the ten year carnage of fellow brothers and sisters and for nothing. This was followed by the Koroma presidency which brought the country just below poverty level and corruption.

    I do hope those taking part in the investment projects will not sell the country to investors, dropping the country to what it was before. Our president is working hard to bring the situation to the theatre where everyone can enjoy the play. MAY GOD HELP OUR PRESIDENT AND BLESS SIERRA LEONE AND HER PEOPLE.

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