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Sierra Leone basks in $8bn Chinese investment bonanza

18 July 2013

Sierra Leone’s president returned from a trip to China last week with signed deals in his pocket for new infrastructure assets worth a reported $8bn.

The meeting between Ernest Bai Koroma and Chinese president Xi Jinping resulted in major energy and mining projects, a new $300m second international airport, and a massive rubber plantation, according to local and international media.

Although one of the poorest countries in the world, Sierra Leone attracts huge investments due to its mineral riches including diamonds, gold, titanium ore and bauxite.

One such investor is the China Kingho Energy Group, whose energy and mining investment agreed last week involves a $1.7bn deal to build a deep-water port, a mine, a power plant and a 250km railway, reports Foxnews.com.

Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma met with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week (Valter Campanato/ABr/Wikimedia)

Other deals struck by the two leaders include a $300m second international airport, with a promise of a $25m grant package, and a $1.5bn rubber plantation project, say reports.

Complete details of the total $8bn investment package were not disclosed.

Minister of Mines, Minkialu Mansaray, said at the meeting that Sierra Leone was “in a hurry to be transformed” into a prosperous nation and the government would “continue to encourage investors which were reliable, committed and trustworthy”, reports Sierraexpressmedia.com.