Press Release

For Immediate Release

April 21, 2010

Contact: 202-521-3850

Email: info@mcc.gov

MCC Senior Official Visits Senegal to Reinforce Partnership to Reduce Poverty

Dakar, Senegal— Patrick Fine, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Vice President for Compact Implementation, traveled to Senegal from Monday, April 19 to Tuesday, April 20, to meet with senior officials of the Government of Senegal to discuss MCC’s $540 million program, which is designed to unlock Senegal’s agricultural productivity through the rehabilitation of major national roads and strategic investments in irrigation and water resource management infrastructure.  

Mr. Fine met with Minister of Agriculture Fatou Gaye Sarr to discuss MCC-funded irrigation activities, which aim to improve the productivity of the agricultural sector by: 1) extending and enhancing the quality of the irrigation system in the Senegal River Valley; and 2) developing up to 10,500 hectares of additional irrigated land by increasing the volume of irrigation water.  These activities will also reduce the risk of abandonment of up to 26,000 hectares of existing irrigated land.

Mr. Fine also met with the Minister of Budget within the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Mr. Abdoulaye Diop, who, together with his team, outlined steps the Government of Senegal is taking to increase budget transparency and enforce internal controls on the management of public funds. Mr. Fine also accompanied United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns on his courtesy call to Prime Minister Souleymane Ndene Ndiaye.  “I am pleased with the open and frank discussions I’ve had with senior officials within the Government of Senegal,” Mr. Fine said. “We agree that good governance and a demonstrated effort to combat corruption will attract private sector investments, boost economic activity, and reduce poverty.”

As part of his official visit, Mr. Fine, together with U.S. Ambassador Marcia Bernicat, participated in a roundtable discussion with the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA)-Senegal’s Board of Directors. The roundtable discussion addressed compact progress and next steps as MCA-Senegal finalizes its staff arrangements and prepares for implementation.  “The meeting with Ambassador Bernicat and Patrick Fine allowed for a very fruitful exchange on important aspects related to our compact’s implementation,” said Colonel Alhousseynou Diallo, chairman of MCA-Senegal’s Board of Directors. “The Board was very happy to receive a senior official from MCC at a crucial time when MCA-Senegal is finalizing its institutional framework.”

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Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. Government agency designed to work with developing countries, is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces sound political, economic, and social policies that promote poverty reduction through economic growth.  For more information, please visit www.mcc.gov.

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