Mr. Prime Minister,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me begin by thanking the Prime Minister—for his commitment and for his partnership.
We had a very fruitful discussion and I know that, under his leadership, the American and the Cabo Verdean people will be equally proud of what we will achieve together in the years to come.
As an American, I understand the valuable role our country can play in the world. When we partner with countries that share our values—countries like Cabo Verde—we can truly accomplish great things.
Shortly after becoming MCC’s new CEO, I decided my first trip would be to Africa. The potential for increased growth and opportunity on this continent cannot be overstated.
And while we have had partnerships with 14 countries in Africa, Cabo Verde is the first country to be awarded a second compact—so I knew I had to come here and see this great partnership for myself.
Since arriving on Sunday, I have had the opportunity to see the impact of our partnership through the various projects that have been implemented under MCC’s investments.
My first stop was the Port of Praia and it was immediately clear to me how instrumental this port has been to increasing commerce and trade—not only inter-island, but internationally! I’d heard there were ships coming from as far away as the United States--from Boston, South Carolina and Delaware—and now I know why.
Improvements like this exemplify how Cabo Verde has successfully chosen smart investments while embracing tough but necessary reforms.
Moving forward, through our Second Compact, we are helping Cabo Verdeans understand their legal rights of land ownership and clarifying the boundaries of their property. As a result, citizens will be more likely to invest in their land, to build property on their land, and to use their land as collateral for starting a business.
These are the types of reforms and changes that will lead to sustainable economic growth in this great country and are the reason Cabo Verde has been recently recognized by the Heritage Foundation as a leader in Africa for economic freedom and good governance.
And, as our partnership moves forward, I know that new reforms are already underway in sectors like water and sanitation. These reforms will help create a better life for the most vulnerable Cabo Verdeans—its women and children.
But I should say, this compact is not just a partnership between our two countries, it’s a partnership that is supported at all levels of society. From the very constructive conversations I had with ministers, mayors, private sector, civil society and, of course, Prime Minister Neves.
And I am looking forward to our meeting with President Fonseca after this.
This compact is the latest chapter in our two countries’ relationship, and I am pleased to see for myself what a strong and effective partnership has made—and continues to make—possible for the people of Cabo Verde.