The Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Government of Burkina Faso signed a five-year, $480.9 million compact in July 2008, designed to increase economic growth and reduce poverty by investing in four project areas:
- land tenure;
- roads; and
- girls’ education.
Burkina Faso, a landlocked country bordering the Sahara Desert, was one of the poorest countries in the world, with a gross national income per person of $670, when the compact with MCC was signed. Eighty percent of Burkina’s poor live in rural areas. These areas of the country are susceptible to external shocks including low rainfall, flooding, and desertification. Burkina Faso faced several severe constraints to economic growth including: high production costs, especially in water and agriculture; lack of secure property ownership or land-use rights; high costs in transporting goods to market; and limited human capacity due to low levels of education.
Compact investments targeted the poorest beneficiaries, 68 percent of whom earned less than $2 per day. These investments were made with the understanding that the Government of Burkina Faso would undertake road maintenance, agriculture, water management and land tenure reforms during the compact to improve the country’s investment climate. The Government of Burkina Faso met all of the compact’s policy and reform conditions precedent by the end of the compact in July 2014. More than 98 percent of the anticipated compact funds were disbursed to achieve the following goals:
- improve land tenure security and land management, enhance the volume and value of agriculture production,
- expand access to markets through investments in the road network, and
- address primary school completion rates for girls.
The estimated direct benefits from the compact investments are projected to be lower than anticipated over the 20 year period for which MCC completes an analysis. This was due in part to difficulty in gathering reliable initial data concerning agricultural increases in zones connected by the roads investments. The Government of Burkina Faso and MCC expect more than 1.1 million people to benefit from the investments. Additional details of the compact results and impacts will be shared in forthcoming impact and performance evaluations.