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Press Release

Millennium Challenge Corporation Chief Executive Officer Visits Kenya to Discuss New Threshold Program to Advance Economic Growth

For Immediate Release

January 23, 2020

Nairobi, Kenya, January 23, 2020 – A delegation from the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), led by Chief Executive Officer Sean Cairncross, visited Nairobi this week to discuss the development of an MCC threshold program to reduce poverty in the country through economic growth. Kenya was unanimously selected by MCC’s Board of Directors as eligible to develop a threshold program in December 2019.

During their visit, the U.S. delegation met with senior government officials, private sector leaders, and partners in the donor community to discuss MCC’s data-driven approach and next steps in the MCC threshold program development process. Meetings included discussions with Kenyan government officials overseeing trade, finance, and foreign affairs policies; and members of the American Chamber of Commerce.

“The decision by MCC’s Board of Directors to unanimously select Kenya for a threshold program recognizes the Government of Kenya’s commitment to strengthening Kenya’s democratic institutions by combatting corruption, maintaining sound economic policies, and further investing in its citizens,” CEO Sean Cairncross said. “This initial engagement visit marks the beginning of a new chapter in the United States’ effort to build a strong partnership between the Government of Kenya and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, focused on our shared goals of targeting reforms and creating a foundation for sustainable economic growth that will reduce poverty and benefit all Kenyans.”

“MCC’s investment is a critical step in Kenya’s path to self-reliance,” said U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter. “The United States recognizes the progress Kenya has made and is here to support all Kenyans in the next steps to bolster economic prosperity, private investment, and good governance. With a successful MCC threshold program, Kenya can show its commitment and ability to institute lasting reforms and progress.”

Using a country-led approach, MCC provides time-limited grant assistance to developing countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, from fighting corruption to respecting democratic rights, economic freedom, and investing in their citizens. Working with local partners, through the threshold Program MCC tackles some of the most pressing challenges through policy and institutional reform.

During the threshold program development process, MCC and the Government of Kenya will jointly conduct a rigorous economic analysis—called a “Constraints to Economic Growth Analysis”—to determine the most significant factors constraining economic growth in the country. This analysis will inform the development of MCC’s focus and investment under the new threshold program.

Program development typically requires 18-24 months before a grant agreement can be signed. Development of the program also includes a consultative process, engaging civil society and the Kenyan private sector.

Learn more about MCC at