Washington, D.C. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) officials joined Cape Verde Prime Minister Jos Maria Neves on Saturday, October 11, for a ceremony to lay the first stone in phase I of the Port of Praia Modernization Expansion Project funded under the Millennium Challenge Account Cape Verde (MCA-CV) program.
MCA-CV Managing Director, Laurent Mehdi Brito, said, ”“The Prime Ministers presence and address at the first stone laying ceremony for the port project rehabilitation underscores the projects importance in the development of the island of Santiago and Cape Verde in general. The participation of officials and the general public at the ceremony signals the great expectation and anticipation of this project, which is a major contribution from MCC and the people of the United States”“.
The ceremony marked the first $42.3 million phase of this major port infrastructure project, which includes a cargo terminal in Achada Grande, an access road that will reduce road congestion and create a corridor exclusively dedicated to port traffic. The project also includes rehabilitation of the pavement of the quay 2. The project is expected to be completed by 2010 and represents a starting point for infrastructure modernization throughout the island.
The Port of Praia currently handles half of the island nation’s cargo. Improvements to the port, combined with the concurrent privatization of port services, are expected to increase the efficiency and growth in the commerce and tourism industries. The expansion will maximize the ports operational capacity and productivity.
The MCC Compact with Cape Verde, signed in July 2005, supports the countrys national development goal of transforming its economy from aid-dependency to sustainable, private-sector led growth. MCC funds are used to improve the country’s investment climate and help reform the financial sector. The programs will help improve infrastructure to support increased economic activity and provide access to markets, employment, and social services.
Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government agency 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, please visit www.mcc.gov.