Poverty Reduction Blog Tag: Tanzania
Posted on July 2, 2013 by Daniel W. Yohannes, Chief Executive Officer
Standing in front of a large gas-fired turbine engine supplied by General Electric—in a modern power plant owned by another American company, Symbion Power—President Barack Obama today discussed Power Africa, a groundbreaking initiative to expand power connectivity in Africa. I was pleased to witness this in Dar es Salaam, as this endeavor reaffirms the power of partnerships to make the promise of energy security a reality.
Symbion first came to Tanzania after winning two contracts through that country’s MCC compact. As you would expect from the private sector, Symbion quickly realized the economic opportunities in a growing market like Tanzania. Since arriving just a few years ago, the company has established itself, with American ingenuity and expertise, as a key player in the Tanzanian energy sector. Just last week in fact, Symbion and GE announced a partnership on yet another investment opportunity in Tanzania. This kind of growth for a U.S. company, after initially working with MCC, is a win-win for the private sector, the people of Tanzania and the United States. And, this is an excellent example of MCC funds serving as a strategic catalyst for additional private sector investment.
But MCC’s portfolio is not limited to one company. Another American company, Pike Electric of Mount Airy, North Carolina, competed for and won a contract financed by MCC to erect more than 800 kilometers of transmission and distribution lines in central Tanzania. Pike completed this project on time and on budget, as part of MCC’s larger partnership with the Tanzanian government to fund a total of nearly 3,000 kilometers of transmission and distribution lines. Millions of Tanzanians are now experiencing the benefits of reliable power. I was also in Tanzania in April to celebrate the inauguration of a 100 megawatt submarine power cable linking Zanzibar to the Tanzanian mainland. Because of this new link, more reliable power is already flowing.
According to a United Nations study, 47 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa, generate about 30 gigawatts of electricity, which equals the generation capacity just in Argentina. Nearly a quarter of this capacity is not actually available, however, for a number of reasons. This means that sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s lowest electricity access rate at 24 percent; electricity access in rural areas plummets to 8 percent. To meet increasing demand, the study says that Africa’s power sector needs to install approximately 7,000 megawatts of new generation capacity annually. This translates into real market opportunities.
By working with partner countries to create well-functioning energy sectors that build institutional capacity, promote transparency and remove the legal and regulatory roadblocks for doing business, we are creating the right conditions and circumstances to attract more and more private power investments to meet the obvious demand. And, as President Obama noted, creating an enabling environment for greater private sector investment ultimately drives and sustains the economic growth that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of Africans and create real opportunities for even more American businesses like Pike Electric, Symbion Power and GE.
Posted on November 9, 2011 by Marc Tkach, Associate Director, Infrastructure
Just out of school on a warm day, these boys take a rest under the shade of an old tree in Morogoro, Tanzania. They sit atop part of the dilapidated Mambogo water treatment plant from which their drinking water flows. Nestled against the Uluguru Mountains in the Tanzanian highlands, Morogoro is one of the largest and most picturesque towns in East Africa. Its water supply system, though, is undersized and the situation is quickly becoming worse as the population booms.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation's investment in Tanzania involves construction of a new water treatment plant to replace the Mambogo plant, rehabilitation of the larger Mafiga plant down the hill, installation of almost two kilometers of water main pipe, and the upgrade of the town’s water storage capacity. Access to reliable, affordable and clean water is a key factor in the reduction of disease and the increase in productivity that will benefit the Morogoro region.
MCC investments also will improve the water supply in the nation’s largest city, Dar es Salaam. An expansion of the Lower Ruvu water treatment plant will lead to an output of 270 million liters per day, an increase of 50 percent.
Learn more at mcc.gov
Posted on May 25, 2011 by Patrick Fine, Vice President, Department of Compact Operations
African countries have been at the forefront of the movement to make development aid more effective. Many of the visionary leaders behind the path breaking Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness were African and it was no coincidence that the follow up Call to Action was held in Accra in 2008. African experience, lessons and frustrations have been pivotal not only in shaping the aid effectiveness agenda – and institutionalizing a consensus around the importance of country ownership, accountability for results, and harmonized joint action to achieve country priorities – but also in testing how to put these principles into practice in the real world. For example, Tanzania – one of MCC’s partner countries - led the way in the early 2000s experimenting with new mechanisms for donor coordination such as basket funding, donor sector leads, and direct budget support.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) was born out of these aspirations for more effective and authentic partnerships between wealthy and poor countries. MCC embodies a non-traditional approach to U.S. assistance that starts from the premise that aid works best in those countries committed to their own development. MCC is the first U.S. agency to rigorously apply principles of 1) country selection based on policy performance; 2) a primary focus on economic growth and empirical results measured in terms of beneficiaries’ increased income; and 3) country ownership that makes partner countries responsible for defining investments and implementing agreed upon programs. These features have produced remarkable responses from African countries determined to demonstrate their willingness and ability to make good use of donor resources to reduce poverty through sustainable investments in national and social infrastructure.
When considering the role that African nations played in the movement for aid effectiveness and MCC’s emergence as a practical manifestation of this movement, it should come as no surprise that Africa makes up over half of MCC’s portfolio; two-thirds of MCC’s $8 billion in investments is in good performing African countries. Already there are impressive results across the continent that range from policy reforms, to new ports, roads, and power systems, to an increased emphasis on gender integration and equality in development. We are proud of our partnerships in Africa and proud that our partner countries have shown that principles such as selectivity, country ownership, and accountability really do work.
On this Africa Day, MCC wishes all African nations well and promises to continue to respect the ingenuity, hard work and vision that we see in their efforts to build prosperous, well-governed nations.
Posted on March 15, 2011 by Matthew Kavanagh, Deputy Resident Country Director, Tanzania
At $698.1 million, MCC’s compact with Tanzania is the largest and most ambitious yet, targeting infrastructure investments in the transportation, energy and water sectors. The teams have achieved some impressive milestones in the early days of implementation, including awarding over $550 million in contracts over a 12-month period. After two years of preparatory studies, responsible resettlement and environmental certification, construction is now underway. This is an exciting time for all of us, especially the people of Tanzania.
We are also excited about the dramatic impact a partnership with the private sector can have on our efforts to promote economic growth in Tanzania.
Two American companies, Symbion Power and Pike Electric, competed for and won a significant portion of the Tanzania Compact’s $206 million energy portfolio. In partnership, these two companies will be installing nearly 1,600 kilometers of power lines in six regions, providing electricity to over 330 communities previously without power. Symbion Power has also partnered with Alstom Grid to provide substations in these same six regions, as well as Zanzibar. Inconsistent electricity and power spikes are a source of frustration and lost revenue for many productive businesses in these targeted regions. This combined transmission and distribution investment will have a major impact on both households and businesses by providing a more reliable and higher quality source of electricity.
As Symbion and Pike finalize preparations for construction, they are using their own Corporate Social Responsibility funds, separate from their contractual Compact responsibilities, to implement a unique training plan for construction workers. Symbion and Pike have identified and sent three senior Tanzanian workers to Northwest Lineman College (NLC) in Meridian, Idaho, where they are learning about electrical systems, accident prevention, and construction methods during a 60-day “train the trainer” program. Symbion and Pike also plan to establish a similar training facility in Morogoro, Tanzania, for over 200 Tanzanians who will work on the construction crews on the MCC-funded transmission and distribution activity. NLC will work with Symbion, Pike and their three Tanzanian trainers to get the Morogoro school up and running by April.
Last month I had the privilege of meeting the (future) Tanzanian trainers and seeing them in action at the Northwest Lineman College, along with Ambassador Mwanaidi Majaar (Tanzania’s Ambassador to the United States), Ambassador Joe Wilson (Symbion Power’s Chairman for Africa), Paul Hinks (CEO of Symbion Power), Eric Pike (CEO of Pike Electric), Ken Flechler (Vice President of Pike Electric) and Chris Camponovo (Symbion Power Country Director in Tanzania). Representatives from NLC provided an impressive overview of the school’s mission and how their model has been adapted for Symbion/Pike employees in an overseas context, including by creating a training manual in Swahili and English.
The NLC is considered one of the best institutions in the country for this kind of technical training, and they clearly go above and beyond minimum requirements, especially when it comes to safety and professionalism. Lineman work is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States, and in Tanzania it is even more so given generally poor safety standards (e.g., climbing poles with makeshift ladders, instead of safer harnesses). The Tanzanian Symbion/Pike crews will be wearing safety equipment considered to be the gold standard in the industry; not even all American utility companies require this level of protection despite data that indicates it contributes to reductions in workplace accidents.
Symbion and Pike’s partnership with the NLC with a focus on safety is just one example of their impressive commitment to successfully implementing the MCC Compact projects and establishing their companies in Tanzania. They are also using their own resources to fund social projects in the communities in which they work, including HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention and education initiatives, and planned construction of an innovative secondary school.
Their efforts go beyond putting poles in the ground and stringing electrical lines. They are building key relationships in local communities and making long-term, sustainable investments by building the capacity of their Tanzanian workers and creating what will be the best-trained lineman workforce in Africa.
In the 13 years since I first started working in Africa, including over five years with MCC, this is one of the most impressive initiatives that I have been associated with. It is also exactly the kind of partnership with the private sector – especially the U.S. private sector – that MCC is focused on creating.
We have high hopes for the energy project and look forward to working with Pike and Symbion in meeting our shared goals.
Posted on March 9, 2011 by Chelsea Coakley, Program Officer Tanzania
During a recent trip to Tanzania, I traveled with MCA-Tanzania’s Gender Specialist, Deborah Sungusia, to observe a day-long training session in Tanga, about five hours north of Dar es Salaam. The seaport city of Tanga marks the starting point of the Tanga-Horohoro Road, one of the Tanzania Compact’s road investments (approximately 65 km/$49 million). This investment includes the rehabilitation of a key transportation route between the port of Tanga and the border town of Horohoro, which will create an improved linkage to the port city of Mombasa, Kenya - a major port of trade for East Africa.This road rehabilitation project is expected to increase trade and development between Tanzania and Kenya, create jobs, reduce transportation costs, increase access to vital community services for the people of this region, and will also help small subsistence farmers to more easily access local and regional markets.
In order to ensure that both women and men have equitable access to the economic benefits associated with this road project and others in the Compact, MCA-Tanzania developed a national Gender Integration Program (GIP). In collaboration with MCC and local stakeholders, MCA-T recognized that gender inequality was a significant constraint to economic growth and poverty reduction, identified priority areas for intervention to address this issue, and is currently utilizing an existing network of trained Gender Focal Points (GFPs) throughout the country to implement their program.
MCA-Tanzania is funding targeted trainings to help raise awareness amongst women and men throughout the implementation of each MCC Compact project in the transport, energy, and water sectors. The training program was also designed to increase understanding of the concept of gender and differential benefits experienced by men and women in economic development projects, and to cultivate the skills and economic potential of new or already existing entrepreneurial groups at each Compact project site.
The training I attended in December was a two-day follow-up training session designed to provide knowledge, skills and resources for effective management of entrepreneurial groups from the Tanga region. The group consisted of both direct and indirect beneficiaries of the Tanga-Horohoro road project. Each participant received comprehensive training on topics such as microfinance, access to loans and credit, bookkeeping, mobilization/management of group membership, and hygiene/sanitation education. Approximately ten skill-based groups from eight different villages, and 12 different wards (sub-village level) in the Tanga and nearby Mkinga region were represented at this training.
There were approximately 15 men and 25 women present at the training. Their skill sets ranged from cooking services to masonry, and from small-scale farming to security services provision. Through group discussion and mock problem-solving, feedback from peers and Gender Focal Points, and selected presentations to all participants, it was clear that all attendees were able to brainstorm with like-minded community members, practice their presentation skills, and gain a much deeper understanding about how to access increased economic opportunities that exist while the road is under construction, and new opportunities to expand their businesses, once the road is finished.
Before leaving Tanga, I was able to speak with a number of participants and it became quite clear to me that many of these dynamic men and women would most likely return to their cities, villages, and wards to share their new entrepreneurial knowledge, and become champions of their families’, communities’ and country’s development—teaching others to access new opportunities for growth along the Tanga-Horohoro road. I am looking forward to seeing the impact of this program on the ground over the next year.
Posted on May 25, 2010 by Daniel W. Yohannes, MCC CEO
Africa Day celebrates African unity and the continent’s progress toward greater prosperity. MCC invests in sustainable development for the people of Africa through more than 70 percent or $5 billion of our entire portfolio. MCC works with African partners who show a commitment to good governance. We support local solutions aimed at reducing poverty by stimulating economic growth and delivering results that matter in the lives of the citizens of our partner nations. MCC-Africa partnerships increase agricultural productivity, build critical infrastructure, and invest in healthy, educated societies that make for a productive workforce.
These significant public sector milestones in turn create an environment that stimulates private sector investment. When I visited Ghana, for example, I met pineapple farmers who took advantage of MCC investments to expand sales of their crops. Now, major agribusinesses are looking to supply their European markets from MCC-supported farms. Trade like this will support steady jobs and incomes for Ghanaians.
In February, I visited Cape Verde where MCC funds will modernize the Port of Praia. This port handles half the island nation’s cargo, and these MCC-sponsored improvements will substantially increase economic activity and trade. And, later this week, I travel to Tanzania to break ground on an MCC-funded project to connect the seaport of Tanga to Horohoro. This highway will reduce transportation costs and boost trade between Tanzania and Kenya, by open access to the port of Mombasa. This project will spur business development, create new jobs, and become an important national and regional asset that will reduce poverty through sustained economic growth.
MCC also has launched an innovative Agribusiness Development Initiative in Morocco and Ghana to encourage private businesses to invest around MCC-funded sector activities. In Ghana, MiDA, the local entity responsible for implementing Ghana’s MCC compact, is working with VegPro, a Kenyan-based exporter. VegPro is initially leasing a 250-hectare farm adjacent to the compact’s irrigation perimeter and plans to export vegetables from Ghanaian farmers to Europe, allowing MiDA-trained farmers to have direct market access for their product. In Morocco, APP-Maroc, the local entity implementing the country’s MCC compact, recently highlighted compact-related agricultural business opportunities for investors in the olive oil, table olives, and dates value chains at the Meknes Agricultural Fair, one of Africa’s largest agricultural fairs. MCC’s website will soon feature a page that will provide businesses with a centralized source of information for these opportunities to assist both MiDA and APP-Maroc continue their investment promotion activities.
MCC’s development assistance can empower entrepreneurs, attract businesses and investors, and ignite market-led growth. This facilitates the transition from assistance to investment, which cultivates self-reliance and accelerates Africa’s growth. MCC continues to involve the private sector in all stages of our work—in designing and building the programs we fund, in investing alongside our projects, and in exploring financing models to ensure the sustainability of our investments.
MCC commits to effective partnerships with African countries that embrace sound polices and strategies for growth of the private sector. With this approach, Africa will prosper and celebrate its best days yet.
Posted on March 22, 2010 by Omar Hopkins, P.D., Associate Director for Infrastructure
When World Water Day was first celebrated in 1993, some 5.3 billion people lived on the planet. Of these, 512 million lived in sub-Saharan Africa, where only 49 and 26 percent, respectively, had access to an improved water source and sanitation facility. Today, on the seventeenth World Water Day, the global population includes 6.7 billion people, of whom 818 million live in sub-Saharan Africa, where 58 and 31 percent, respectively, now have access to water supply and sanitation services. This is a moment to celebrate the additional 223 million sub-Saharan Africans who have access to a water supply and the 120 million who now can access sanitation, but we should also focus on the continuing low rates of access. While tremendous accomplishments have been made, a great deal of work remains undone. Given the tremendous unmet demand for water supply and sanitation, what is being done to facilitate change and accelerate the rate at which these critical services are provided to a billion or so people globally who lack these critical services? A difficult problem like this requires innovation, experimentation, and a willingness to take risks to find better solutions. MCC was created as a new approach to development assistance: a firm five-year window for implementation, full commitment of the funds upon compact signing, untied assistance, and host country ownership, including proposal development and implementation. This approach reflects the best thinking about development assistance, as articulated in the Paris Declaration. In this, MCCs seventh year, we are looking at some important lessons learned, like carefully integrating social and environmental factors into project design and implementation, identifying innovative contracting approaches that accelerate the project life cycle without sacrificing quality, and promoting private sector participation. MCC works closely with partner countries to identify high value water supply and sanitation projects and water resource management and productivity projects that respond to the countries development priorities. MCC programs in Lesotho, Mozambique, and Tanzania include MCCs three largest water supply and sanitation projects, covering rural and urban water and sanitation, non-revenue water management, and source development. In addition, Mali, Burkina Faso, Armenia, Senegal, and Moldova are pursuing major irrigation and water resource management projects. To date, MCC programs have funded approximately $528 million in water supply and sanitation and $769 million in water resource management and irrigation. MCC partnered with the Government of Mozambique to target a traditionally underserved area: water and sanitation investments in urban areas and small towns. Secondary urban areas are particularly difficult environments in which to build sustainable water supply and sanitation systems because, by definition, they lack economies of scale, are more remote, have higher costs, have difficulty attracting and retaining staff, and are typically less affluent—all of which have negative implications for sustainability. Yet, a majority of world population growth will occur in urban areas and much of that will occur in these secondary urban areas. Addressing the projected water supply and sanitation needs of these communities will be one of the sectors most pressing challenges in the coming decades. In advancing MCC’s mission of global poverty reduction through economic growth, we will continue to work with partners committed to expanding access to water and sanitation.
Posted on March 4, 2010 by Jason Bauer, Director of Private Sector Initiatives
This week more than 167 companies attended a procurement conference and heard about contracting opportunities arising from projects funded by Millennium Challenge Corporation compacts. Supported by Business Unity South Africa, Standard Bank, and the U.S. Embassy, the conference was hosted at the Development Bank of Southern Africa in Midrand, South Africa. Country teams from Burkina Faso, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Tanzania discussed over $3 billion in procurement opportunities, ranging from building roads and water systems to building health centers and schools. The compact in Ghana and compacts still being developed with the governments of Malawi and Zambia were also discussed.
The conference highlighted the business opportunities that ultimately support MCC’s mission of reducing poverty through economic growth. The conferences key themes included the openness and transparency of the procurement processes, the ability for international companies to bid on compact projects and the unique opportunities for U.S. and international suppliers.
Companies attending the conference included those focusing on infrastructure engineering, design, and construction, as well as those providing project management and technical assistance. The resounding message: MCC partner countries throughout Africa are open for business.
Posted on November 30, 2009 by Patricia Moser, Director of Health
Tomorrow, we mark the 21st commemoration of World AIDS Day. In 1988, the World Health Organization designated December 1st to raise awareness about and focus attention on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. There is a link between HIV/AIDS and the work of MCC, particularly in southern Africa where high HIV/AIDS rates constrain economic growth and compound human misery through early deaths, illness, and orphaned children.
Lesotho’s MCC compact signed in 2007, for example, recognizes the economic and human toll of HIV/AIDS. Thirty-four percent of the compact is dedicated to assisting Lesotho’s Ministry of Health and Social Work and the non-governmental sector expand access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and response. The compact provides financing to improve health infrastructure and to strengthen health systems nationwide.
The compact is renovating clinics and staff housing at up to 139 primary health centers throughout the country in an effort to improve the working and living conditions of health staff. The program is also reconfiguring the out-patient departments of 14 of the 19 secondary hospitals in order to provide needed space for integrating HIV/AIDS activities into these departments. Particular attention is being paid during these renovations to reducing the potential spread of tuberculosis in waiting rooms and clinical spaces, providing greater occupational safety for health workers, and decreasing the level of deadly tuberculosis co-infection of HIV positive patients.
In addition to infrastructure improvements, the compact is working to strengthen health systems by funding efforts to improve health care waste management. This reduces the level of infectious medical wastes at health facilities and in communities. It is also improving management systems and capacities for community health, district health management, and hospital out-patient departments. On-the-ground coordination between MCC, MCAthe local entity implementing Lesotho’s MCC compact—USAID, and the Centers for Diseases Control (both implementing agencies for the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, funds) has been exceptionally strong, including the co-location of U.S. Government health-related staff and regular coordination of programming and implementation issues.
Moreover, MCC is looking at issues related to HIV/AIDS issues beyond the health sector. Construction activities in all high prevalence countries require HIV/AIDS mitigation efforts, including HIV/AIDS awareness and education for workers and communities to prevent the spread of HIV, especially as a result of labor migration. MCC compacts in Tanzania and Namibia, and compact development activities in Malawi, pay special attention to HIV/AIDS prevention and mitigation in non-health sector activities.
December 1st is an important reminder of global HIV/AIDS prevention efforts, and MCC is committed to working with partner countries to help provide better access to health services and treatment to ensure a better future for those affected.
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