Washington, D.C. - Ambassador John J. Danilovich, Chief Executive Officer for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), today released the following statement in recognition of Africa Day 2008. Africa Day commemorates the founding anniversary of the Organization of African Unity, now the African Union, on May 25, 1963.
"The United States, through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, is devoting unprecedented resources to help MCC partner countries in Africa positively transform the lives of the poor by stimulating sustainable economic growth. The continent of Africa is the largest recipient of MCC’s development assistance, both in the number of agreements and in the amount of assistance provided.
MCC’s partnerships with African countries are strong and genuine. MCC’s model for development assistance is not one where donor and recipient countries interact on an uneven playing field, but, rather, one of partners in development working shoulder-to-shoulder to achieve results.
Nearly $3.8 billion, or 70 percent, of the $5.5 billion that MCC has awarded so far in poverty reduction grants benefits the people of Africa. To date, MCC has signed compact agreements with 9 African countries: Benin, Cape Verde, Ghana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, and Tanzania. MCC anticipates that the next two compacts will be in Africa as well, with Burkina Faso and Namibia.
In addition, smaller-scale grants provided through MCC’s threshold program are designed to assist countries that are close to compact eligibility. These programs provide specialized assistance to countries where policy improvements are needed. Of MCC’s 19 threshold programs, eight of them, totaling $125 million in assistance, are in Africa. Primarily, these threshold programs focus on fighting corruption, improving governance, and expanding girls’ education.
As leaders of their own development, MCC’s African partner countries are responding to the unique MCC approach. These countries are rising to the challenge and embracing reforms necessary to build a culture of transparency, to fight corruption, and to engage all segments of their societies—including women. Countries are also taking steps to build their capacity to fight poverty and to promote healthy business climates so that trade and private enterprise can serve as the engines of long-term economic growth.
Africa Day is a celebration of not only the promise of Africa’s future, but also the achievements in Africa today. MCC is proud to be one tangible manifestation of positive and constructive U.S. engagement with Africa. MCC looks forward to building on our continued partnership with African countries.â€
Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. government corporation designed to work with developing countries, is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces sound political, economic, and social policies that promote poverty reduction through economic growth. For more information about MCC, visit www.mcc.gov.