Press Release

For Immediate Release

October 31, 2008

Contact: 202-521-3880

Email: info@mcc.gov

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.