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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The River Crossing at Rio Cacheu

A bridge is being built at this wide river that cuts across the key lifeline road from Bissau to Ziguinchor in Senegal. An atrocious bottleneck builds up at both sides of the river. I was amazed that for all the importance of this crossing, there was only one miserable and certainly very unsafe barge bringing vehicles and passengers across the river, supplemented by 3 small river crafts. Meanwhile, long queues more than half kilometer long builds up on both sides of the river. Is the fare too low to attract new entrants to the market, or are the Guinea-Bissauans too unentrepreneurial? Don't they realize the opportunity cost lost for everyone who waits for extended periods at this crossing? Or maybe time isn't too important in Guinea-Bissau.

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