Gento Group Banana Island Seaport Project Concession Agreement Tabled in Parliament

Banana Island Seaport Project.jpg

By Amin Kef (Ranger) 

The Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation, Rex Bhonapha, has on Tuesday July 9th 2024 tabled the Concession Agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and Gento Group of Companies for the Designing, Financing, Construction and Operationalization of a Seaport within the Dublin and Rickett Communities of Banana Island and Logistics Hub (Harbour Terminal) at Kent in Sierra Leone.

During his presentation, the Deputy Minister highlighted the $1.5 billion project’s approval by the Cabinet on June 3, 2024. He noted the strategic declassification of Banana Island from the list of protected areas to facilitate this venture, while ensuring that activities harmful to the environment will remain strictly prohibited.

He emphasized the seaport’s projected depth of 20-24 meters, making it the deepest in West Africa.  Rex Bhonapha said the development is poised to significantly bolster Sierra Leone’s economy and create numerous job opportunities, particularly for the youth. “This transshipment port and logistics hub will position Sierra Leone as a key player in international maritime trade, bringing substantial economic benefits,” the Deputy Minister asserted.

He intimated how the construction phase alone is expected to generate over 1,000 jobs, with long-term employment opportunities potentially exceeding 10,000. The Deputy Minister also highlighted the broader economic impact, suggesting the project could indirectly generate up to 100,000 jobs through increased investment. Moreover, it is projected to contribute 4.5% to the nation’s GDP.

Parliamentarians praised the Deputy Minister, Rex Bhonapha, for his clear and comprehensive presentation of the Concession Agreement, recognizing it as a major developmental milestone for the country. A debate on the agreement is set to commence soon, paving the way for its anticipated ratification.

As Sierra Leone stands on the brink of this transformative project, the nation’s prospects in maritime trade and economic growth look exceptionally promising.



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