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Press Release

Millennium Challenge Corporation Deputy CEO Chidi Blyden Advances Threshold Partnerships in Tanzania and Kenya

For Immediate Release

February 20, 2024

WASHINGTON (February 20, 2024) - Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Deputy CEO Chidi Blyden met with government officials in Tanzania and Kenya last week to advance threshold grant partnerships, which support poverty-reducing policy and institutional reforms.

Blyden’s trip to Tanzania created opportunities to connect with Tanzanian officials, solidify partnership commitments and discuss next steps. Tanzania was selected by MCC’s Board of Directors to develop a threshold program in December 2023. The threshold program amount and project sectors will be jointly determined as the partnership progresses.

“Tanzania is an important partner for the United States and the new MCC threshold program is an excellent opportunity to further our engagement,” said Blyden. “I am looking forward to our collective efforts to strengthen democratic governance and promote inclusive and sustainable economic development.”

While in Tanzania, Blyden met with Tanzania’s Minister of Finance, Mwigulu L. Nchemba, Executive Secretary of the Planning Commission Lawrence Mafuru and the newly appointed National Coordinator Hamisi Mwinyimvua, who expressed commitment to a thriving economy and the development of a threshold program for the people of Tanzania. Blyden also met with the media, private sector leaders, and civil society to hear their priorities, and witnessed the sustainable power of MCC partnership, during a visit to dLab. Established through a 2015 partnership between MCC and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), dLab continues to train hundreds of youth in data literacy, coding, and other digital skills to address local challenges with a data-driven approach. She also received updates about MCC funded infrastructure improvement projects in transportation, energy, and water through the $698.1 million MCC Tanzania Compact, completed in 2013.

During her trip to Kenya, Blyden discussed progress toward the implementation of the Kenya Urban Mobility and Growth Threshold Program with senior government of Kenya officials. Kenya and MCC signed a $60 million grant program in September 2023. The program will tackle challenges that limit mobility in urban areas of Nairobi. The program will address pedestrian transportation needs, advance safer transportation options for women, and support financing for the acquisition of electric buses.

Blyden gained insight into land use challenges and possible solutions during site visits to gridlocked urban neighborhoods and a company that assembles electric buses. The Kenya Urban Mobility and Growth Threshold Program is MCC’s largest and most ambitious threshold program to date.

“Helping residents in Nairobi safely navigate between their homes and work is critical for Kenya’s continued economic growth,” said Blyden. “I am grateful for our partners in the Government who are working tirelessly to set up the Kenya Millennium Development Fund to implement this program and bring the benefits to the Kenyan people.”

The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an independent U.S. government development agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. Created in 2004, MCC provides time-limited grants that pair investments in infrastructure with policy and institutional reforms to countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, fighting corruption and respecting democratic rights.