China has sent experts to The Gambia, mainland Africa’s smallest country to build roads and bridges in its eastern province, putting in motion the Asian power’s goal of having a footprint in the Atlantic.
According to Gambian authorities, the Chinese have agreed to build a highway linking the major city of Basse to Fatoto and Koina, along the country’s navigable River Gambia that links inland Africa to the Atlantic Ocean.
At least two bridges will be constructed at the Basse-Wulli and Fatoto-Passamass crossings aiming to connect rural communities with commercial towns.
China is building a $50 million international conference center is southwestern Gambia. The country’s President Adama Barrow inaugurated the project in September.
Chinese Ambassador to The Gambia, Zhang Jiming said: ” it is a manifestation of the recognition of China of the Gambia’s development aspiration.”
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), based on the outcome of the feasibility, will be generated and signed by the two governments for the implementation to proceed.
Gambia’s Works Minister, Bai Lamin Jobe, said the government attaches great importance and urgency to the construction of two roads and bridges.
The project is expected to connect the entire south bank trunk road, which will address the substantial socio-economic development of the Gambia’s Upper River Region.