Posted on October 22, 2010 by Daniel W. Yohannes, Chief Executive Officer
Last week marked another milestone moment in MCC’s history—the completion of MCC’s compact with Cape Verde. The last time I was in Cape Verde, I visited the unfinished Port of Praia project being implemented by MCA-Cape Verde with funds from MCC. What a difference eight months makes! Together with Prime Minister Jose Maria Neves, I witnessed the inauguration of Phase I of the Port of Praia. The port is now more efficient, with a new access road, cargo village for storage, and a strengthened security system.
Also on this visit, I traveled to the island of Santo Antao, which has the largest population of farmers in Cape Verde. There, we inaugurated the post-harvest center. At this modern facility, farmers can now have their produce inspected by trained sanitary inspectors and store their agricultural products to maintain freshness and quality.
One of the most moving experiences for me was meeting Cape Verdean farmers. Celso Duarte, a young farmer who leads his farmer association in Paul, told me that, thanks to MCC’s assistance, he received training and acquired the necessary skills to use the new watershed management system. As a result, he now has drip irrigation on his land. Sousa told me how he ensures that he and his fellow farmers are using the technique properly to diversify their crops and get them to market. And he added: “I wanted to personally thank you and the American people for funding my training and giving me and my family the chance to improve our lives.”
Hearing words like this further convinces me that we are making a difference.
Posted on October 8, 2010 by Daniel W. Yohannes, Chief Executive Officer
During a week that showcased MCC’s commitment to Africa’s economic growth and development, I joined Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), to sign an agreement today under which MCC and AfDB will work together in promoting economic growth and poverty reduction in Africa.
AfDB and MCC will share their core competencies and expertise to support country-led economic development initiatives, focusing on such key sectors as infrastructure, water and sanitation, land, agriculture, transportation, environment, health, and gender integration. AfDB and MCC are already finalizing the details of our first collaboration: a pilot project in water and sanitation infrastructure in Mozambique.
When President Obama announced his new U.S. Global Development Policy last month in New York, he called for working with foundations, the private sector, NGOs, and multilaterals to maximize the impact of U.S. foreign assistance. The President emphasized that development “cannot be the work of governments alone.” Smart and deliberate collaboration with AfDB is one way MCC is implementing this new approach to development. This continues MCC’s commitment to broadening the scope of our engagement with a range of traditional and non-traditional partners to achieve sustainable development and deliver results in the fight against global poverty.
Posted on October 7, 2010 by Daniel W. Yohannes, Chief Executive Officer
I had the opportunity yesterday to showcase MCC’s commitment to poverty reduction and economic growth in Africa at two great events.
In the morning, I met with U.S. ambassadors working throughout Africa, including in many MCC partners countries. I briefed the African Chiefs of Mission on MCC’s work throughout the continent and, more importantly, learned from them how we can work together more effectively. Deepening our cooperation and coordination allows us to maximize the impact of MCC investments in Africa.
Last evening, I was honored to deliver the keynote speech as part of the Africa Society’s Ambassador Andrew Young Lecture Series on Africa. The Embassy of Ghana opened its doors to over 200 guests; it was exciting and energizing to be among so many friends of Africa, who share MCC’s commitment to partnering with African countries to achieve sustainable economic growth. We recognize that the best way to realize the continent’s promise is through partnerships grounded in mutual respect and responsibility, accountability, sound policies, and results.
Next week, I’ll be travelling to Cape Verde for the first, full-term completion of an MCC compact in Africa. This marks an important milestone to assess what worked well in the fight against poverty and what lessons we’ve learned to improve future programs. I look forward to sharing our findings. I am firmly committed to making sure that MCC’s work in Africa creates stronger economies and more prosperous communities by promoting good governance, expanding trade capacity, building infrastructure, and engaging the private sector. It is in our own strategic, economic, and moral interests to work together with Africa to realize the global growth that will benefit all of us.