October 31, 2008
MCC CEO Ambassador Danilovich Sees Major Progress in Anti-Poverty Programs in Ghana
Washington, D.C- Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) CEO Ambassador John Danilovich visited Ghana this week to view firsthand the progress of the U.S. Government poverty reduction program funded through the $547 million MCC grant to Ghana.
The people and government of Ghana are implementing a successful anti-poverty program throughout their country, said Danilovich. President Kufuors leadership and strong commitment to good governance has improved access to economic and development opportunities for poor Ghanaians. MCC is proud to partner with Ghana in the fight against poverty in their vibrant country.
On Wednesday, Ambassador Danilovich joined Ghanaian President John Kufuor and U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Donald Teitelbaum at a public ceremony to commence work on the National Highway (N1), to be known as the George W. Bush Motorway. MCC funding will support the upgrade of a 14 kilometer section of the N1 Highway that runs between Tema and Accra, which will increase access to the international airport and the Port of Tema. These upgrades to the N1 Highway are expected to benefit approximately 150,000 Ghanaians who use the road daily. Upwards of 500,000 people, including consumers and agricultural export producers and others that rely on the highway for the transport of commercial goods in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area will also benefit from access improvements to the highway.
During his visit, Ambassador Danilovich and officials of the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), the Ghanaian entity implementing the compact, met with members of the Yilo Krobo Mango Growers Association, a 180 member farmer-based organization, who are benefitting from compact training and medium-term agriculture credit programs. Ambassador Danilovich, Ambassador Teitelbaum, and MiDA officials also visited the Jei River Farms, a large-scale pineapple producing and exporting business that is one of the first beneficiaries of the MiDA grant to the Sea-Freight Pineapple Exporters of Ghana (of which Jei River Farms is a member).
On Tuesday, Ambassador Danilovich and MiDA officials attended the commissioning of the newly rehabilitated Bawjiase District Junior Secondary School. Currently, 65 schools are being rehabilitated and furnished with MCC compact funding; some of these schools in Northern Ghana were damaged by floods last year. The compact also will finance the construction of some 450 new classrooms, teachers offices, and libraries.
The five-year, $547 million MCC compact with Ghana, which was signed in August 2006 and entered into force February 2007, focuses on reducing poverty by helping increase farmer incomes through private sector-led agribusiness development.Agriculture accounts for approximately 40 percent of the Ghanas gross domestic product, directly employs approximately 60-70 percent of the labor force, and generates more than 55 percent of foreign exchange earnings.The compact will increase the production and productivity of high-value cash and food staple crops in targeted areas of Ghana. The compact also includes a transportation project designed to reduce transportation costs affecting agricultural commerce and a rural development project designed to expand the availability of basic community services (including educational facilities) and to strengthen rural institutions that provide services complementary to agricultural and agri-business development.
Since 2004, MCC has approved compacts totaling approximately $6.3 billion with 18 partner countries: 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, 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.