The MCC is an independent United States (US) government development agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. MCC was created in 2004 to provide time-limited grants that pair investments in infrastructure with policy and institutional reforms to countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, fighting corruption and respecting democratic rights.
In November 2021, MCC and the Gambia government signed a threshold program which provides 25 million US dollars to address the country’s biggest challenge to economic growth. In December 2022, the MCC board of directors selected The Gambia as eligible to also develop a compact, MCC’s five-year grant program that focuses on large-scale infrastructure investments and policy and institutional reforms.
Speaking at a press conference held yesterday, at the Petroleum House in Bijilo, Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of MCC, briefed journalists that she had a meeting with Vice President Muhammed Jallow on their overall project and work. She stated that the areas of interventions were designed to help benefit the people of The Gambia.
“We signed a 12 million US dollars compact initial funding which will help us get our work starting,” she stated. “We used that to fund initial feasibility and design efforts. Throughout this project, we would seek inputs from a number of consultations and as well as engaging potential beneficiaries, CSOs, the private sector and donors.”
On how these great gestures could reduce poverty, CEO Albright buttressed that the energy program would directly benefit people while the river program was designed to create opportunities, saying the River Gambia is an important asset to the country. She added that they also intervened in education to help people get better jobs and opportunities.
The CEO also inaugurated the new MCA office in Banjul while describing the moment as a significant moment towards bringing the reality of their work. She went on to say that both of the programs are significant demonstration and honoured that the US have such a wonderful relationship with the Gambia.
“The office is instrumental in ensuring that MCC Gambia is able to effectively implement the 25 million US dollars program and the opening is a significant milestone as we move forward in important work in improving the electric sector of the Gambia,” she said. “MCC and the Government of the Gambia partnered on this program designed together to reduce power outages and improve sector governance by supporting critical improvement to reduce the frequency, durational and improving the capability of NAWEC to operate the power system in a way that is adequate and meeting the existing demand of the people.”
Seedy Keita, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, expressed delight while underscoring the fruitful bilateral ties that exist between the Gambia and the US.
“This is a testimony of the relationship between the government of the Gambia and the US which has taken a new turn since the coming of a new dispensation,” he said, adding: “The government of President Adama Barrow believes in democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. This facility will go on to reform the energy sector which is a critical component to national development.”