Smart Development in Senegal

Standing from left to right, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Ambassador Johnnie Carson, U.S. Ambassador to Senegal Marcia Bernicat, President of Senegal Abdoulaye Wade, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senegal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, and Senegal’s Ambassador to the United States Amadou Lamine Ba witness the signing of Senegal’s $540 million compact by Senegal’s Minister of Economy and Finance Abdoulaye Dip and MCC’s Acting CEO Darius Mans.

Today, I had the distinct privilege of joining President Abdoulaye Wade and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for the signing of Senegal’s $540 million MCC compact. Senegal’s Minister of Economy and Finance Abdoulaye Diop and I signed the compact during a ceremony at the State Department. This grant, which reflects Senegalese development priorities, will rehabilitate two major roads and expand a major irrigation and water resources management system. These investments will be critical to boosting agricultural productivity, economic growth, trade, and food security. This marks the first MCC compact to be signed during the Obama Administration, reflecting the Presidents clear commitment to helping countries help themselves with a focus on transparency and accountability.

In fact, as I participated in todays signing, it was clear that Senegal is already proof of President Obamas words that Africas future is up to Africans. The signing of Senegals MCC compact demonstrates the countrys commitment to lead its own development, build its capacity, and strengthen its institutions - - doing its part to make a difference in the lives of its citizens. This compact resulted from extensive nationwide consultations with government agencies, donors, NGOs, civil society, womens groups, and private sector associations, making its projects truly by and for the people of Senegal. Senegal invested $20 million of its own resources to prepare its MCC compact, including conducting detailed feasibility and design studies for all projects.

As a result of such upfront, homegrown commitment, the Senegal compact we signed today is a strong roadmap for long-term economic growth. It reminds us that country-led developmentof helping countries already working to help themselves ensures a smart and effective investment of American assistance. I am proud of the MCC-Senegal partnership and the real potential it holds for poverty reduction and economic growth.

Now, the hard work of building roads and irrigating farmland begins. I am confident that Senegal’s diligence in developing its compact will be matched by its resolve to implement it with transparency and accountability, as well as by its tangible actions to combat corruption. This is one sure way to unlock Senegal’s potential and deliver the sustainable results the Senegalese are expecting.