Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bambatenda – Yellintenda Ferry Crossing Point to be Bridged

The Gambia government has now finally secured a loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the construction of the Trans-Gambia Bridge, which connects both North and South of The Gambia and Senegal as well as serves as an important transport linkage for the sub-region.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the government of the Gambia have signed an agreement for the financing of the Multinational TransGambia Bridge & Cross-Border Improvement Project to the tune of US$96.20 Million equivalent to Gambian Dalasis (GMD) 2,909.80 billion.

Analyst said the bride, when completed, will help to create free traffic flow between the northern and southern parts of the Gambia and Senegal in order to promote free movement of persons, goods and services between the two countries and other countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).  This will bring to fruition plans which the governments of the Gambia and Senegal have for many years.

Abdou Kolley, Gambia's Finance Minister
Abdou Kolley, the Gambia’s Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, said in a statement issued by his ministry on Monday, that the construction of the bridge will allow free traffic flow between the northern and southern parts of both The Gambia and Senegal.

The project will therefore reduce travel time, boost trade and reinforce cohesion among communities which were previously isolated. It will also facilitate the transportation of agricultural products to markets reducing post-harvest losses and boosting socio-economic activities.

For his part, the Vice President of AfDB, Zondo Sakala, who signed the project on behalf of Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President of the AfDB, said the construction of the bridge will enhance regional trade through opening up of an important historical trading route in the Sahel as well as bring to fruition the dream of the West African Highway.

The proposed bridge, according to VP Sakala, will reduce transport cost, time, and customs administrative formalities at the borders and as well, enhance the potential for trade thereby contributing to poverty reduction and social-economic empowerment of communities on the corridors and the Ecowas community as a whole.

The Bambatenda – Yellintenda ferry crossing point, which is less than 1km wide of River Gambia running through the Trans-Gambia highway connecting Farafenni and Soma, is one of the eight ferry crossing points of River Gambia.


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