President Bio Applauds China for Ongoing Support in Sierra Leone’s Infrastructure.

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Sierra Leone’s President, Julius Maada Bio, expressed gratitude for China’s ongoing support in infrastructure development during his recent state visit to China. President Bio, invited by Chinese President Xi Jinping, made his second visit to the country since assuming office. The diplomatic ties between China and Sierra Leone, established over five decades ago, have resulted in numerous successful railway and bridge projects under the cooperative framework.

 

Among these projects is the Second Juba Bridge, a significant achievement of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Named after Sierra Leonean hero Sendgbe Pieh, the 81.8-meter bridge, located in Freetown, has played a crucial role in easing traffic congestion and improving residents’ travel experiences. President Bio emphasized the bridge’s impact on safety during rainy seasons, particularly for vulnerable groups like women and children, who previously faced challenges crossing waterways without proper infrastructure.

 

In an interview with China Global Television Network (CGTN) in Beijing, President Bio acknowledged the vital role of bridges, highlighting the physical and social connections they provide. He described the obstacles faced during heavy rains, with schools and health facilities on opposite sides, emphasizing the dangers and accidents that occurred before the implementation of such crucial infrastructure.

 

President Bio extended his appreciation for China’s assistance in various projects that reflect the enduring friendship between the two nations. The Youyi building in Freetown, aided by China in the 1970s, still stands as the government office and a symbol of friendship, as “Youyi” translates to friendship in Chinese. Other notable projects include the ongoing renovation of the Sierra Leone National Stadium, funded by China and set for completion in November. Additionally, the China-Sierra Leone Friendship Road in southeastern Freetown has become a vital route connecting villages near the capital city.

 

The Sierra Leone-China Friendship Hospital, funded by China, stands as a testament to the strong ties between the two countries. It is recognized as one of the best comprehensive hospitals in Sierra Leone, hosting Chinese medical teams dispatched by the government, particularly during health emergencies such as Ebola and the COVID-19 pandemic. President Bio commended China’s leadership for supporting various initiatives, emphasizing the immense importance of Chinese infrastructure development in Sierra Leone.

 

The collaborative efforts between China and Sierra Leone extend beyond physical infrastructure, encompassing medical assistance and disaster response. President Bio’s acknowledgment of China’s contributions reflects the positive impact on Sierra Leone’s development and the enduring friendship between the two nations.

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