Remarks by MCC CEO Daniel Yohannes at the George W. Bush Motorway to mark Ghana’s Compact Completion
It is wonderful to be back in Ghana! My first trip abroad in 2010 as the Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation was to Ghana. My return now—exactly two years later—to mark the end of Ghana’s 547 million dollar MCC compact is proof of your determination and diligence to improve the lives of Ghanaians in meaningful and lasting ways. Thank you for welcoming me and MCC Board member Alan Patricof, who is traveling with me.
You know, it is not easy to be an MCC partner country.
• We seek partners working to break the cycle of aid dependency to embrace self-sufficiency.
• We partner with countries making policy reforms that will help them help themselves.
• We invest in local, homegrown solutions to fight poverty, so here in Ghana we invested in your priorities for growth and development.
• And, just as we demand results from our investments, so do you. As partners, we have been in this together to deliver results that will be sustainable in your lives.
We demand a lot. And, Ghana rose to meet the challenges of being an MCC partner, and today we celebrate the successes of that partnership.
The completion of the George W. Bush Motorway is among those successes. This new highway is more than an engineering marvel with fresh asphalt. The motorway is expected to facilitate the movement of more than 36,000 vehicles per day and reduce peak travel time from one hour to 20 minutes on the 14 kilometers between Tetteh-Quarshie (Teh-Tay Kwah-shee) and Mallam (MAH-lum) Junction. Ghanaian workers can now more easily travel to their jobs. Ghanaian families can now have better access to much-needed social services. By shortening the time to get to the Port of Tema, Ghanaian farmers can now reach markets quicker. This highway is a reliable gateway to greater trade and commerce, which bring economic growth and prosperity.
Ghana’s compact smartly integrates a number of projects around the completion of the George W. Bush Motorway to deliver maximum impact.
• That’s why Ghana’s compact invests in connecting trunk and feeder roads. The floating dock, landings and terminals on Lake Volta have been rehabilitated and new ferries have been constructed. This improved transportation network is vital for the growth of Ghana’s agriculture sector.
• Ghana’s compact also invested in the business and technical services farmers need to compete. More than 66,000 Ghanaian farmers have been trained. Three new public packhouses and 10 agribusiness centers are now open.
• And to complement these investments in agriculture, Ghana’s compact invested in rural development to improve the living conditions of farmers. This means installing water points, rehabilitating schools and computerizing rural banks.
These strategic investments—each important—become far more powerful in modernizing Ghana’s agricultural sector when taken together as an integrated package. This package is reducing poverty and generating more opportunities for private sector-led agribusinesses.
So, today we mark not just the completion of a road project, but also the start of a highway to greater opportunity.
Congratulations on all your hard work to reach this milestone—in designing, implementing and now benefitting from your MCC compact.
I am grateful to President Mills, to former President Kufuor and to the people of Ghana for embracing MCC’s innovative approach to development. It is an approach that reflects the values of Ghanaians dedicated to creating a life of opportunity. And, I want to recognize and thank the exceptional leadership and staff of MiDA for their professionalism and persistence in guiding Ghana’s compact to completion.
While Ghana is among the few MCC partners to qualify for a second compact, what is critical now is that this first compact is completed and that the benefits are sustained. The right practices and policies must remain in place to maintain and build on what has been achieved. We join the people of Ghana in expecting nothing less than the complete measure of results from this compact.
When President Barack Obama made his historic visit to Ghana, he stood before the Parliament and said, “Africa’s future is up to Africans…opportunity won’t come from any other place…it must come from the decisions that all of you make, the things that you do, the hope that you hold in your heart.”
Today, we celebrate the fruit of your decisions and the good work of your efforts to create a life of prosperity for Ghana. The American people stand in solidarity with the people of this great country, who have turned the hope in their hearts into the reality of a better life for themselves and their children.
Thank you and congratulations again!