Remarks by MCC CEO Daniel W. Yohannes at Compact Completion Event in Zanzibar

Marking the installation of a submarine power transmission cable between Zanzibar and the mainland

Hamjambo!  Vipi Mambo?   As-salam alaykum.

Your Excellency President Mohammed Shein;

The Honorable Minister of Lands, Housing, Water, and Energy Ramadhani
Abdulla Shaaban;

The Honorable Alfonso Lenhardt, U.S. Ambassador to the United Republic of Tanzania;

Acting General Manager of ZECO Hassan A. Mbarouk;

Distinguished guests,

It is wonderful to be back in Tanzania and particularly here in Zanzibar!

Since 2010, I have been coming to this beautiful country to see for myself the progress unfolding through the partnership between Tanzania and the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation. Our partnership is working to reduce poverty and promote economic growth by investing in roads, water and energy. These are the vital ingredients to create a life of greater opportunity for the people of Tanzania, including right here in Zanzibar.

Now, as you prepare to mark the official completion this September of the $698 million Tanzania-MCC compact, I wanted to visit ahead of that momentous occasion to mark what truly is a landmark achievement in the life of our investment.

I am proud to announce—and to celebrate with all of you—the completion of this very ambitious project. By working together, we have finished installing a new 100-megawatt submarine power transmission cable that links Zanzibar to the mainland’s electric grid. MCC’s investment in Zanzibar has also rehabilitated and expanded three substations as well as 37 kilometers of distribution lines.

As more reliable electricity comes to Zanzibar, a new day is indeed dawning here. Make no mistake about this: With a steady source of electricity, the people of Zanzibar will benefit.

We expect to see that:

Your entrepreneurs and businesses can work and make a profit.

Your children can study at night.

Your health clinics can serve you.

With a steady supply of power, you will be able to attract outside investment and greater private sector activity that will expand economic opportunities and create more jobs.

More tourists will visit Zanzibar, and that will increasingly support an entire industry of growing possibilities.

Energy security is key to prosperity. As the lights stay on in Zanzibar, gone will be the hours and days and months of power outages that have paralyzed your economy for too long. The testimonials we heard today from each and every one of you prove that change is possible.

Let me conclude my remarks with just two comments.

First, let me say thank you. Completing this project was not easy.

We owe our thanks to:
o Viscas Corporation who designed and built the submarine cable;
o the Symbion-Alstom joint venture who rehabilitated the substations;
o Kalpa-Taru Power who strung the overhead distribution lines;
o and ESBI who supervised all aspects of construction.

We also especially thank President Shein, Minister Shaaban and Acting General Manager Mbarouk for their leadership throughout the process.

And, we thank the outstanding professionals at MCA-Tanzania under the leadership of CEO Bernard Mchomvu for managing the contracts with high-quality professionalism.

And, second, let me leave you with a challenge. All that has been accomplished in the energy sector here in Zanzibar through the MCC investment must be sustained. Moving forward, I challenge you to remain accountable to each other, to continue to make the tough reforms and to operate with transparency so that what has been built here will be maintained to serve the people of Zanzibar today and well into the future. Even as Tanzania prepares to develop another MCC compact, the priority must be to fully complete and sustain this first investment in Zanzibar’s energy security.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Congratulations on completing this important project for Zanzibar’s economic growth and development.  Now, may you, your families and your communities fully reap the many expected benefits from this new, dependable connection to electricity here in Zanzibar.

Asanteni sana.