As the world marks Africa Day, I am proud of the strong relationships the Millennium Challenge Corporation has forged across Africa. We have committed almost $5.9 billion in investments—nearly 65 percent of our global compact portfolio—on projects to alleviate poverty in our African partner countries. We work to promote food security, transform public health and education sectors, increase opportunities for women and youth, and build the necessary infrastructure for business development and trade. Our African partners take the lead in designing, implementing and evaluating these programs based on their own needs—a demonstration that MCC’s model of country-led development works and achieves both efficiency and cost savings.
We are witnessing the dawn of an African century. Democracy, the rule of law and good governance have taken root across much of the continent. Six of the fastest-growing economies of the past decade are in sub-Saharan Africa, creating a better life for millions. The average African child born today is more likely to live past his or her fifth birthday, receive an education, hold a good job, live in security, and remain in better health than children of previous generations.
It is a time for opportunity, both for Africans and for the world.
Yet much more remains to be done. Poverty, hunger and disease are still widespread problems across much of the continent. But where we find partners who hold similar values, we work hand-in-hand to play a constructive role in creating an Africa where all have the chance to prosper. We do this because it is the right thing to do—for the United States and for our partners throughout Africa.