Press Release

Millennium Challenge Corporation Celebrates Launch of New Gender Unit in Côte d’Ivoire during W-GDP Trip

For Immediate Release

April 16, 2019

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, April 16, 2019 – Officials from the U.S. government and Côte d’Ivoire together celebrated Tuesday the launching of a new gender unit within the Ivoirian Ministry of National Education that will focus on improving education and training for girls and women to strengthen the workforce and meet the needs of the Ivoirian private sector.

Karen Sessions, Vice President for Congressional and Public Affairs at the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC); Ivanka Trump, Senior Advisor to U.S. President Donald J. Trump; and Mark Green, USAID Administrator, joined Ivoirian officials including Côte d’Ivoire Vice President Daniel Kablan Duncan and Minister of National Education Kandia Camara for the launch, which involved the signing of a ministerial order making the new gender unit operational.

“This is an important milestone in the MCC-Côte d’Ivoire partnership, and will increase economic opportunities for women and girls,” said Karen Sessions, Vice President for the Department of Congressional and Public Affairs at MCC. “Empowering women and girls is fundamental to achieving MCC’s mission of reducing poverty through economic growth.”

The gender unit is a requirement for funding of the Skills for Employability and Productivity Project under the five-year $524.7 million MCC Côte d’Ivoire Compact. The country is also creating a new Gender in Education Policy to promote gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.  The compact was jointly developed by MCC and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire based on an analysis of the factors most significantly constraining economic growth in the country, including low availability of skilled workers, and challenges to moving goods and people.

The Skills for Employability and Productivity Project will increase access to secondary education and teacher training through policy and institutional reforms, the introduction of a new public-private vocational educational model, and construction of up to 84 new secondary schools, 2 teacher training campuses and up to 4 new vocational education and training centers. MCC’s investments in transportation are designed to facilitate trade, create new business opportunities, and reduce transport costs.

In partner countries around the world, MCC works both to reform the policies and institutions that have held women back for too long and break down barriers that prevent women from fully engaging in their countries’ economies. Empowering women leads to stronger economies, increases in household incomes, and higher profits for businesses. Each MCC program requires the partner country to adopt a Social and Gender Integration Plan, which provides a comprehensive roadmap to addressing social and gender inequalities.

MCC is an independent U.S. Government agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. Created in 2004, MCC provides time-limited grants and assistance to developing countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, from fighting corruption to respecting democratic rights. Learn more about MCC at


Related Country Programs

  • Côte d'Ivoire Compact

    Côte d’Ivoire was selected for a threshold program in December 2014 but was moved to a compact a year later due to its commitment to good governance and sustained efforts to strengthen its scorecard. The compact entered into force in August 2019.