Thank you, Ambassador Wolpe, for that kind introduction.
Minister Cuereneia, Ambassador Panguene, distinguished members of the delegation from Mozambique, Friends of Mozambique,
Today marks an exciting, new chapter in Mozambique’s history.
On June 27th, the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation approved a $507 million compact with Mozambique to fight poverty through economic growth in the country’s northern provinces, where poverty is most severe.
Tomorrow, we will meet at the State Department to officially sign that compact.
This morning, through the generosity of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, we have had an excellent venue to discuss how the compact is a milestone in Mozambique’s development. As we gather to talk about the Mozambique-MCC compact, our sixth in Africa—and our 12th overall—it is fitting that we should do so at the Woodrow Wilson Center, whose Africa Program shapes strategic thinking on African issues and U.S. policy toward Africa.
With the signing of tomorrow’s MCC compact, the United States becomes the largest bilateral donor in Mozambique. Equally as significant as the amount of assistance which MCC delivers, is how we deliver it and how we will change the lives of the men, women, and children in Mozambique.
Mozambique-MCC Compact Highlights
MCC’s program in Mozambique is expected to reach a total of five million Mozambicans, and will have a direct, sustained, and transformative impact on their lives by reducing poverty and generating prosperity.
As the panel discussed, the compact not only will considerably strengthen Mozambique’s economy but also will enhance the quality of life through improved health and access to services. It will
- create jobs,
- increase productivity,
- and improve the investment climate in the northern provinces.
With robust input from their civil society—viewed as partners in development—the people of Mozambique themselves prioritized and created their own plan for growth. The Mozambique-MCC compact is built on the understanding that Mozambicans are the owners of their own development, and that they know best the barriers to poverty reduction and economic growth that must be tackled to ensure prosperity.
Economic growth brings with it the promise of expanding opportunities. As the Mozambique-MCC compact is now implemented, it will be the political will and commitment of the Mozambican government and people that will deliver on that promise.
Mozambique is an outstanding example of how our MCC model and how our incentive effect are working—working in Mozambique, working in Africa, and working throughout the world.
The MCC compact with Mozambique is yet another demonstration that we are fulfilling the mandate given to us by the U.S. Congress when they created MCC in 2004. And, only with Congress’s support for sufficient funding will MCC be able to continue to fulfill our mission throughout the world.
MCC is a bilateral, American program—our grants are rewards for countries that are doing the right things for the right reasons. MCC rewards good government, good governance, countries that invest in their people, and provide economic freedom—all of this being the foundation upon which we can build programs for the reduction of poverty and sustained economic growth.
MCC’s mission is “aid with accountability”—accountability onour part as well as accountability on the part of our partner country.
On our part, it’s about taking our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer seriously and awarding grants only to countries with sound
- and social policies.
On the part of our partner country, it’s about embracing the hard work of
- consulting with their people,
- identifying their own priorities for development,
- making reforms,
- implementing their programs,
- and delivering tangible results.
Mozambique’s development is guided by this culture of accountability and responsibility, and MCC is proud to partner with Mozambicans to sustain growth and improve the lives of the poor.
Introduction of Minister Cuereneia
A key leader in this process is Mozambique’s Minister of Planning and Development, Aiuba Cuereneia.
Minister Cuereneia has served as the Minister of Planning and Development since 2005.
Prior to that, he was the Deputy Minister of State Administration and National Director of Public Administration. He has coordinated various national and international projects in
- capacity building,
- human resources management,
- and training in public administration.
It is my pleasure to yield the podium to Minister Cuereneia for his thoughts on the compact between Mozambique and the Millennium Challenge Corporation.