July 28, 2008
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.
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.