Washington, D.C.—The U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the World Bank and Ghana’s Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) today to provide professional-level curriculum and modules to the World Bank for use in education programs to help strengthen public procurement around the world. Purchases of goods and services is generally the first or second largest component of all government spending; more professional procurement can have an enormous impact on governmental efficiency and expenditures, and therefore development in all countries.
The MOU was signed by Jonathan Bloom, MCC’s acting vice president for compact operations and Ed Olowo-Okere, director of the World Bank’s Core Operations Services-Africa Region. Samuel Sefa-Dedeh, the chair of MiDA’s board of directors, will soon sign the MOU.
Strengthening accountability and administrative functions of governments is a critical component of MCC’s commitment to poverty reduction through economic growth. As part of this effort, the MCC, MiDA and World Bank collaboration will formalize learnings in public procurement, promote procurement professionalization and expand on two unique and already successful programs initially implemented through Ghana’s MCC compact.
In August 2006, MCC and the Government of Ghana signed a five-year, $547 million compact, focused on reducing poverty by raising farmer incomes through private sector-led agribusiness development. The compact’s Procurement Capacity Activity built capacity and educated civil servants and students on international procurement standards.
Five institutions of higher learning took part in the activity. Almost 300 procurement personnel and students were trained, 1,250 students participated in procurement internships at government offices, and 200 of those gained permanent or temporary employment.
This MOU builds on a previous memorandum signed between MiDA (the Ghanaian government entity created to implement the MCC compact) and the Government of Liberia in 2011 to provide the curriculum and modules developed under Ghana’s MCC compact to train Liberian procurement professionals. Twenty-five Liberian students recently graduated with a postgraduate diploma in public procurement. The new partnership under the MOU provides these materials more broadly to the World Bank as part of the Bank’s and MCC’s shared aspiration to improve public procurement.
“MCC prioritizes partnerships and sharing our lessons with the broader community, and this MOU does precisely that,” Bloom said. “We are excited that the programs MCC and MiDA implemented in Ghana will have a global impact. This program also demonstrates the great positive contribution professionalization can have on government spending and efficiency.”
“This is the outcome of mutual understanding and excellent collaboration between MCC and MiDA, and we are happy to have left this legacy as a contribution to laying the groundwork to improve public sector procurement,” said MiDA CEO Martin Eson-Benjamin.
“We will make these materials available worldwide, building procurement capacity and promoting development,” Olowo-Okere said. “This is one important step toward building a cadre of international procurement professionals.”