Press Release

For Immediate Release

October 15, 2008

Contact: 202-521-3850

Email: info@mcc.gov

MCC Officials Join Cape Verde Prime Minister to Lay First Stone for Port of Praia Expansion Project

Port expansion expected to increase commerce and market efficiency

Washington,  D.C. Millennium   Challenge Corporation (MCC) officials joined Cape Verde Prime Minister Jos   Maria Neves on Saturday, October 11, for a ceremony to lay the first stone in   phase I of the Port of Praia Modernization Expansion Project funded under the   Millennium Challenge Account Cape Verde (MCA-CV)  program.

MCA-CV   Managing Director, Laurent Mehdi Brito, said, ”“The Prime Ministers presence and address at the   first stone laying ceremony for the port project rehabilitation underscores the   projects importance in the development of the island of Santiago and Cape Verde   in general. The participation of officials and the general public at the   ceremony signals the great expectation and anticipation of this project, which   is a major contribution from MCC and the people of the United   States”“.

The   ceremony marked the first $42.3 million phase of this major port infrastructure   project, which includes a cargo terminal in Achada Grande, an access road that   will reduce road congestion and create a corridor exclusively dedicated to port   traffic. The project also includes rehabilitation of the pavement of the quay 2.  The project is expected to be completed by 2010 and represents a starting point   for infrastructure modernization throughout the island.

The   Port of   Praia currently handles   half of the island nation’s cargo. Improvements to the port, combined with the   concurrent privatization of port services, are expected to increase the   efficiency and growth in the commerce and tourism industries. The expansion will   maximize the ports operational capacity and productivity.

The   MCC Compact with Cape   Verde, signed in July 2005, supports the   countrys national development goal of transforming its economy from   aid-dependency to sustainable, private-sector led growth. MCC funds are used to   improve the country’s investment climate and help reform the financial sector.  The programs will help improve infrastructure to support increased economic   activity and provide access to markets, employment, and social   services.

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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.