The official reopening of the Mano River bridge is scheduled for Thursday at Gendema, in the Pujehun district, southern Sierra Leone.
This vital trade link, between Sierra Leone and Liberia, serves as a channel for establishing economic activity between both countries.
The Mano River Union was created in 1973 to establish closer economic cooperation in the Mano River Union basin, by joining Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
To exploit the full potentials of this grouping, the development of basic infrastructure was identified, and the construction of the Mano River Union bridge was the Union’s first project.
Although the bridge was completed in 1967, plans to establish a Freetown/ Monrovia highway to connect the two countries were delayed because of the outbreak of hostilities in the sub-region.
The reopening of the MRU bridge signifies the existence of peace in the sub-region, thus facilitating the movement of goods, vehicles and people between member states, and strengthening the relationship between member states to secure a fair distribution of the benefit of this economic cooperation.
The reopening ceremony will be attended by senior officials of the Government of Sierra Leone, the MRU Secretariat, the Office of National Security, the Sierra Leone Police, the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces and IMATT.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNOSIL), which have both supported the project, will also be present at the ceremony.