Robert Blau, MCC Vice President for the Department of Compact Operations, visited Cabo Verde from November 27-29, 2017, to celebrate the accomplishments of the five-year, $66 million Cabo Verde Compact.
The compact established policies, institutions, and infrastructure on which Cabo Verde – a U.S. maritime trade and security partner – can address issues of water scarcity and uncertain land rights, which hampered the nation’s economic growth.
Visit to São Vicente
On Monday, November 27, MCC DCO VP Robert Blau visited São Vicente to meet with the island’s deputy mayor and with beneficiaries of the Social Access Fund, a component of the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Project. The fund facilitated “last mile connections” to thousands of the poorest citizens across Cabo Verde bringing water and sanitation into their homes for the first time. He then sat down for an interview with Expresso das Ilhas and Rádio Morabeza to talk about the lengthy partnership between MCC and the Government of Cabo Verde and highlight achievements under the partnership.
Vice President Blau then traveled to sites covered by the compact’s Land Management for Investment Project, which worked to clarify land owners’ rights and property boundaries. The land registration process, which previously took 72 days, caused delays, and held back investment, now takes 3 days, opening the door for private investment and economic growth.
Read and listen to an interview with MCC Vice President Blau published by Cabo Verde’s Expresso Das Ilhas and Rádio Morabeza (in Portuguese).
Visit to Praia Registrar and Port of Praia
On Tuesday, November 28, Vice President Blau visited the land registration office and port in the capital city of Praia on the island of Santiago. MCC invested to improve the port’s cargo handling operations and terminal congestion as part of its 2005 Cabo Verde Compact.
Vice President Blau also met with members of the board, staff, and stakeholders of the Millennium Challenge Account-Cabo Verde II, MCC’s local implementing entity, presenting key achievements of the compact.
Inauguration of Water Network Extension and Closeout Ceremony
On Wednesday, November 29, Vice President Blau attended an inauguration ceremony for a water network extension from Praia to São Domingos. The extension, part of the compact’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project, improves the quality and reach of water and sanitation infrastructure.
Later that day, Vice President Blau attended the official compact closeout event with senior government officials, including Cabo Verde Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva and U.S. Ambassador to Cabo Verde Donald Heflin.
By improving not just access to clean water and land rights, but also the capacity of the Government of Cabo Verde to maintain and expand these services, the country is now well-positioned to continue progress toward reducing poverty and driving growth.