Press Release

MCC CEO Daniel Yohannes Discusses the Critical Role of Private Sector Investment in Africa at CSIS Event

For Immediate Release

May 19, 2011

Washington, D.C.— Daniel W. Yohannes, CEO of the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) today joined Daniel Runde, Director of the Project on Prosperity and Development, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) to discuss how the United States is working with African countries to promote long-term, sustainable economic growth.

The event, entitled On the Road to the 2011 G8 Summit: Investing in Africa’s Emerging Markets, focused on the role of private-sector-led economic growth in reducing poverty in Africa. The upcoming 2011 G8 Summit in Deauville, France will include a focus on private-sector growth opportunities in Africa.

At the event, Mr. Yohannes discussed the ways in which MCC and the U.S. Government are stimulating private sector investment in Africa, and the critical role that partnership with the private sector will play in African development.

Africa remains the world's poorest continent, but the emerging economies of sub-Saharan Africa are the growth markets of the 21st century. Between 2000 and 2008, GDP per capita income in sub-Saharan Africa grew by 54 percent, and the number of African households with discrestionary income is expected to rise by 50 percent in the next decade.

“MCC is helping Africans say to the world, ‘We’re open for business,’ by incentivizing the right policies, building infrastructure, and deepening capacity for trade and investment.” stated Mr. Yohannes. “The continent has made great strides in recent years, but there is much left to do.  Together, we must find innovative ways to leverage aid to reduce poverty, promote growth, and attract the private sector.  We must chase opportunity for the betterment of Africa’s citizens, and the best interests of the world we share.”

Since its creation in 2004, MCC has built a portfolio of roughly 8 billion dollars in investments in key sectors – including infrastructure, agriculture, and energy.  These sectors are vital to trade and investment-related activities.  Half of MCC’s compact countries are in Africa and projects in those nations receive two-thirds of MCC’s investments.

Following his opening remarks, Mr. Yohannes participated in a question and answer session with Mr. Runde, during which he discussed MCC’s unique role in international development and future goals for the agency, including enhanced collaboration with the private sector.

You may find Mr. Yohannes’ speech as prepared for delivery here: