Friday, January 27

Gambia among four African countries selected for new US partnerships

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The Gambia has been selected by the Board of Directors of the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) alongside Togo, Senegal, and Mauritania to develop new MCC grant programmes .

This was announced by United States President Joseph R. Biden on Wednesday at the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ summit.

He said MCC signed its first ever Regional Transport Compact with the Governments of Benin and Niger.

President Biden said since the start of his administration, the MCC has announced new investments of nearly $1.2 billion in Africa.

“The MCC just announced partnerships with four African countries — first compacts for The Gambia and Togo to boost economic development, a compact with Senegal to bolster regional connections, and a threshold programme with Mauritania to help strengthen democratic governance and pursue policy reform to unlock economic growth. These MCC investments are part of the work we’re doing worldwide through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment.”

He told African leaders and their delegates that during its annual “selection” meeting held last week, MCC’s Board — which is chaired by the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken — selected The Gambia and Togo as eligible to develop compacts, MCC’s five-year grant programme that focuses on large-scale infrastructure investments and address policy and institutional reforms.

The MCC Board also chose Senegal as eligible to develop a concurrent regional compact as well as Mauritania for a threshold programme.

Threshold programmes are MCC’s smaller grant programmes designed to support policy and institutional reforms that address the factors constraining a country’s economic growth in countries that may not yet be meeting MCC’s strict compact eligibility criteria.

“Today’s announcement is symbolic of both the United States’ enduring commitment to Africa and MCC’s dedication to creating a stronger, more resilient global community,” said MCC’s Chief Executive Officer Alice Albright.

“Our Board’s selection of these countries affirms each country’s aspiration or commitment to democratic principles as well as their intentions to make the investments and institutional changes necessary to build a more prosperous future for their communities. The MCC Board’s decision comes at a critical time, and we look forward to working together with each country to develop a programme that will address the most pressing challenges facing their economies,” she said.

MCC has been a steadfast partner with governments across the African continent since our agency was founded in 2004, investing $9.5 billion in 24 African countries, Ms Albright said.

With these new selections, MCC has expanded its active programme to 14 countries in Africa with compact and threshold programmes worth $3 billion as well as another $2.5 billion in the pipeline.

Along with selecting countries for new grant programmes, MCC’s Board also reselected Côte d’Ivoire as eligible for a concurrent regional compact programme; Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and Zambia for compact development; and Kiribati for threshold programme development.

The Board also reaffirmed its support for continuing compact development in Belize. MCC regularly reviews its partner countries’ policy performance throughout the development and implementation of a compact or threshold programme.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an independent U.S. government agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth.

Created in 2004, MCC provides time-limited grants and assistance to countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, fighting corruption, and respecting democratic rights.