Press Release

For Immediate Release

July 28, 2008

Contact: 202-521-3880

Email: info@mcc.gov

Namibia and MCC Sign $304.5 Million Poverty Reduction Grant to Support Education and Training, Increase Rural Incomes

Windhoek,  Namibia At a   signing ceremony today in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Honorable   Professor Peter Katjavivi, Director General of the Namibian National Planning   Commission (NPC) and Mr. Rodney Bent, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the   Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) signed a $304.5 million poverty reduction   grant. The signing was witnessed by the Right Honorable Nahas Angula, Prime   Minister of Namibia, Dennise Mathieu,  United States Ambassador to   Namibia and a number of Namibian and   US officials and stakeholders. The five-year Compact will help strengthen   access to and quality of Namibias education and training sector, increase   productivity of farm enterprises in communal rural areas and promote growth in   Namibias tourism industry.

We are delighted to join the league of Millennium   Challenge Account Compact countries Professor   Katjavivi said. Namibia is a young   democracy, this year 18 years of age. And today, Namibia will be   the 18th country in the developing world to sign a Compact with the Millennium   Challenge Corporation.

The MCC   objective of reducing poverty through economic growth was worked into a   manageable and sustainable program, closely linked to existing development   efforts, which we believe will stand the test of   implementation Professor Katjavivi   stated.

This is a great day for MCC and for the people of   Namibia, whose hard work and   dedication are the foundation for this Compact said   MCC Deputy CEO Rodney Bent. The   program, focused on supporting education and training, demonstrates Namibias   will to improve the lives of its citizens and create a foundation for   sustainable growth, economic opportunities and the success for its own   people Mr. Bent added.

The Compact   will improve the education sectors effectiveness through broader access to   vocational training, upgrading of infrastructure and equipment in educational   facilities, and acquisition of textbooks for grades five through twelve. The   Compact will also enhance the economic performance of the agricultural sector by   supporting the construction of five veterinary centers and the tagging of one   million cattle in high volume, under-served livestock areas, introducing   community-based rangeland management practices, and advancing the business   capacity of the Namibian indigenous natural products industry. Finally, the   Compact will increase incomes and create employment opportunities through   strategic investments in Namibias ecotourism sector, Etosha National   Park and marketing of Namibia   tourism.

Namibias compact   with the United   States is MCC’s 18th compact. Since its   inception in 2004, MCC has signed compacts totaling over $6.2 billion with   Madagascar, Cape Verde, Honduras, Nicaragua, Georgia, Armenia, Vanuatu, Benin,  Ghana, Mali, El Salvador, Mozambique, Lesotho, Morocco, Mongolia, Tanzania,  Burkina Faso and Namibia.

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Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a   United   States government corporation designed to work   with developing countries, is based on the principle that aid is most effective   when it reinforces good governance, economic freedom, and investments in people   that promote economic growth and elimination of extreme poverty. For more   information about MCC, visit www.mcc.gov.