Speech

February 2, 2010

As Prepared by

Ghana

Remarks at the Bontrase Feeder Road Sod-Cutting Ceremony

Its an honor to join you.  Thank you for a beautiful and warm welcome to Ghana.

I've come to Ghana on my very first trip abroad as the leader of the MCC.  I've come to see for myself the progress underway as a result of the $547 million partnership between Ghana and the U.S. Governments Millennium Challenge Corporation. We can already point to tangible progress because of Ghanas MCC compact: more than 50,000 farmers have been trained; farmers are accessing credit to grow their businesses; schools are being built to educate the next generation; and roads are being improved to help farmers access markets.

Todays groundbreaking of the Bontrase feeder road adds to this progress. The prosperity of households and communities depends on having a good infrastructure.  When you have good infrastructure, it attracts private sector investments, expands trade, and provides access to schools and health clinics.  It becomes easier to do business. Transportation costs and travel times plummet, and the standard of living improves significantly.

Today, we are not just breaking ground to improve a feeder road.  We are building a solid, sustainable foundation for progress in the years ahead.  It is a privilege for all of us at MCC to join the Ghanaian government and the people of Ghana to make this a reality.

The Ghana-MCC partnership is an excellent example of an innovative way to deliver development assistance.  When President Obama travelled to Ghana last July he spoke of redefining assistance through partnership, not patronage; through Africas homegrown solutions; and through private sector engagement so foreign aid is no longer needed. What President Obama envisioned is already a reality here in Ghana, with its transparent, country-led, results-driven implementation of the MCC compact.  Here we see a country pursuing good governance and the rule of law, engaging the private sector and civil societyboth men and womeninvesting in the health and education of its citizens, building the capacity to lead its development, and operating with transparency and accountability. This delivers tangible and practical change in the lives of the poor.

The U.S. Government through the Millennium Challenge Corporation is proud to partner with the people of Ghana to achieve this goal.

MCCs partnership with Ghana is delivering on Americas commitment to Africa.  In our interconnected global economy, what happens in Ghana matters to Americans; what happens in America matters to Ghanaians.  Only together can we achieve a more prosperous and peaceful world.  Let me thank MiDA for its leadership in implementing the compact.  Let me also thank all of you who are making a significant contribution to the success of Ghanas MCC compact: from the Ghanaian governments financial contributions, to the technical support from so many government ministries, and to those working here on the ground.  Together, we canand willcreate sustainable opportunities for reducing poverty and promoting economic growth, including with roads like this one.  The people of Ghana expectand deserveno less.  Let us remain committed to the Ghana-MCC partnership and delivering on its great promise of prosperity. 

You are building not just a road, but a better future for Ghana. Thank you very much.