Home

Sierra Leone Cancels Controversial Airport Deal With China

By DeAnna Taylor

Share

Sierra Leone, one of Africa’s poorest countries, made a deal with China to build a new airport for 318 million dollars. The large-scale project was commissioned by former President Ernest Bai Koroma in March 2017 and was expected to be completed in 2022.

 

However, the current President Julius Maada Bio along with the country’s Aviation Minister Kabineh Kallon decided to cancel the deal.

 

Related: Why It’s Difficult For African Travelers To Travel To Other African Countries.

 

Kallon spoke with BBC on Wednesday and said that the current airport will be renovated instead. “I do have the right to take the best decision for the country,” he said. It is unclear if there will be financial penalties for canceling the deal.

 

It doesn’t appear that there was any bad blood between the two nations as the project was still in the early stages.

 

This airport deal was very controversial. It came after former Koroma, who served in office for over ten years, took on $224 million of Chinese debt.


 

China has been accused of operating a policy of debt-trap diplomacy. In other words, China is known for persuading poor countries to enter into deals they will never be able to pay back. When countries are unable to pay said debt, they must sign over the rights to the Chinese business that funded the deal.

 

In 2010, Beijing invested $1.5 billion in a Sri Lankan port. When the country defaulted on the loan, they were forced to sign over the facility to a Chinese-state owned company under a 99-year lease term.

 

Related: Ethiopia To Make Trips For African Travelers Much Easier. 

 

To date, African countries collectively owe China about $130 billion. Some African leaders have been grateful for the investments the Chinese government has been providing.

 

“China has become a major investor in our continent. As we look to expand Chinese investment in Africa, we need to encourage more local partnerships between Chinese and African entrepreneurs,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said at the opening of FOCAC in September.

Share
Travel Noire

DeAnna Taylor

DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel writer. The Charlotte native recently completed one year abroad working as an English teacher in South Korea. Her hobbies include fitness, traveling to new countries, and trying new foods.

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

Puerto Ricans Have Blocked Major Highway, Demanding Governor Rosselló Resignation

Puerto Ricans Have Blocked Major Highway, Demanding Governor Rosselló Resignation

Thousands of Puerto Ricans have blocked one of the major highways, Las Americas Highway, launching a massive strike demanding the governor’s resignation. After twelve days of heated protests, Puerto Ricans decided Monday to flood the highway and be heard. This all started after text messages between Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and 11 members of his inner […]

Kelsey Marie / San Juan, Puerto Rico

California Attraction ‘Daffodil Hill’ Closing Indefinitely Due To Overtourism

California Attraction ‘Daffodil Hill’ Closing Indefinitely Due To Overtourism

McLaughlin’s Daffodil Hill, located in Sacramento, is widely known for the acres of beautiful yellow and white flowers that fill the land That beauty, however, will no longer be witnessed up close. The Ryan family, who manages the property, said Daffodil Hill is closing indefinitely due to unexpected popularity on social media, as reported on […]

Parker Diakite

Airlines Cancel Boeing 737 Again, How This Impacts You

Airlines Cancel Boeing 737 Again, How This Impacts You

The grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max Airplane worldwide is now in its fifth month and with no clear indication of when the plane will fly in the skies again, passengers should expect disruptions to air travel for the next several months. The planes were grounded back in March following two fatal crashes in less than […]

Parker Diakite