$20.5M Port Expansion Project Launched

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By Sariba Manneh

A 20.5 million US dollar Port Expansion Project has been launched, being a grant from the Africa Development Bank (AfDB). 

The launch which was held at the premises of the Ministry of Transportation, Works, and Infrastructure yesterday 29th May 2024, is the 4th such expansion project to facilitate improved traffic flow in and around the access roads leading to the port area and to make the roads climate-resilient with a cost-effective and reliable ferry services. 

The project is also expected to greatly strengthen the financial position of the GPA and the GFS.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Matar Ceesay, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Works, said the project is geared towards delivering a very important infrastructure in the transportation and trade sectors. He said the $20.5M project with counterpart funding from the GPA, will assist the government to deliver infrastructure and create a climate resilience infrastructure that will help in the transportation and economy sectors. 

PS Ceesay adds that the project includes the procurement of two new ferries ‘‘that will help us to expand our fleet and provide us with new assets that would help GFS operate in a more efficient and improved climate-friendly service to our customers and the general public.” He said another key component of the project is the integration of the transportation master plan at the Ministry which is critical as a policy set for the sectors. He said the master plan will help them look at all the models of transportation and see how better they can integrate the service that will offer interim sea, road, and air transportation. He said the master plan will help them create a multi-model transportation link that will facilitate and ease transportation from one place to another, within the country.

“In addition, support will be offered to NRA for the bond road reconstruction as the road is a very important access road to the port area. The upgrading of this road is subjected to climate change impacts in the form of flooding to ensure that access to the port will always be maintained and provided by a climate resilience road that can stand the test of time,” PS Ceesay said.

On his part, Ousman Jobarteh, Managing Director of GPA said the proposed Banjul port expansion and modernization project will also catalyze strengthening the Gambia’s position as a major trade and transport corridor hub within the Atlantic.

According to him, the 2nd and 3rd Banjul port expansion projects were successfully implemented with on-lending financing support from the World Bank and the AfDB. Sheila Enyonam Akyea, a senior transport infrastructure engineer from Ghana, also delivered similar remarks.