WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting on Thursday, Sept. 17. The Board approved new compacts with Liberia and Morocco and a new threshold program with Sierra Leone, and discussed the proposed Tanzania compact. Details of the country programs are below.
The Board also approved the agency’s fiscal year 2016 Selection Criteria and Methodology Report and minutes from prior meetings.
The Board was briefed on and expressed strong support for the $257 million power and roads sector compact with Liberia, which includes funding for:
- Rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee Hydroelectric Plant, critical power generation infrastructure that will provide up to 88 megawatts of additional power;
- Support for the development of a nationwide road maintenance framework; and
- Electricity sector institutional development and policy reform activities.
MCC's continued focus on combining infrastructure investments with policy and institutional reforms is expected to help Liberia modernize its power sector and strengthen its road maintenance systems. The compact will significantly expand the U.S. Government’s Power Africa engagement in Liberia, and comes at a critical time for Liberia as it seeks to rebound from the Ebola outbreak. Over the next 20 years, MCC expects at least 460,000 people to benefit from the compact.
Morocco Employability and Land Compact
The Board was also briefed on and expressed support for a $450 million compact with Morocco, which focuses on high-quality job skills training and land productivity, two priorities for the Moroccan Government. This new partnership follows the successful completion of Morocco’s first compact in September 2013.
- The Employability Project is designed to increase the employability and employment rate of Moroccan youth by improving the quality, relevance and equitable access of secondary education and vocational training.
- The Land Project will increase land productivity and investment in Morocco by enabling rural and industrial land markets to better respond to investor demand, and by modernizing the property rights policy framework.
By improving the policy and institutional environment and engaging the private sector, the Employability and Land Projects will address both the supply and demand sides of the labor market. Both projects take a targeted approach to developing and demonstrating new models and building capacity so those models can be replicated and scaled up after the compact is completed. The Government of Morocco has committed at least $67.5 million toward the compact, and MCC expects 2.2 million people to benefit over 20 years.
Sierra Leone Threshold Program
The threshold program will provide up to $44.4 million to support policy reforms and improve governance in the water and electricity sectors in Sierra Leone. By establishing independent regulation, strengthening key institutions, and increasing transparency and accountability, the program seeks to create a foundation to provide financially sustainable water and electricity services, and limit opportunities for corruption in service delivery.
The partnership comes as the country emerges from the devastating Ebola outbreak and seeks to regain eligibility for a compact. MCC and the Government of Sierra Leone will now proceed to negotiations to finalize the terms of the threshold program agreement.
MCC’s Board discussed a proposed $472.8 million compact with Tanzania and expressed support for its strong design and clear goal of strengthening the power sector. The proposed compact aims to increase access to reliable electricity in Tanzania, strengthen utilities and utility management, help Tanzania implement its ambitious plan to reform the energy sector, and catalyze private sector investment.
While welcoming reforms, the Board expressed continued concern regarding corruption in Tanzania. In light of MCC’s fundamental commitment to fighting corruption, the Board agreed that Tanzania must pass the Control of Corruption indicator on MCC’s fiscal year 2016 scorecard before the Board will vote on the compact. Read the Board's statement on Tanzania to learn more.
Selection Criteria and Methodology Report
The Board approved the annual Selection Criteria and Methodology Report for fiscal year 2016. This public document explains how the Board will identify, evaluate and determine eligibility of countries for Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) assistance for 2016. The Board briefly discussed a new sub-section in the report, which outlines the type of information the Board could use when considering countries for potential regional investments.
The Board approved meeting minutes from its June 17 Board and Audit Committee meetings.
About the Millennium Challenge Corporation: MCC is an innovative and independent U.S. agency that is working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. Created by the U.S. Congress in January 2004, with strong bipartisan support, MCC provides time-limited grants and assistance to countries that demonstrate a commitment to good governance, investments in people and economic freedom. Learn more about MCC at www.mcc.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.