WASHINGTON (Dec. 13, 2022) — The U.S. government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) kicked off the first U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit in nearly a decade with a significant commitment to Africa, announcing today its Board of Directors has selected unanimously The Gambia, Togo, Senegal, and Mauritania to develop new MCC grant programs.
“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 during today’s press conference. “Our Board’s selection of these countries affirms each country’s aspiration and 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 program that will address the most pressing challenges facing their economies.”
During its annual “selection” meeting held last week, MCC’s Board — which is chaired by the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken — chose The Gambia and Togo as eligible to develop its first compacts, MCC’s five-year grant program that focuses on large-scale infrastructure investments and address policy and institutional reforms. The Board also chose Senegal as eligible to develop a concurrent regional compact as well as Mauritania for a threshold program. Threshold programs are MCC’s smaller grant program that is designed to support policy and institutional reforms that address the factors constraining a country’s economic growth.
“MCC has been a steadfast partner with governments across the African continent since our agency was founded in 2004,” added Albright, “investing $9.5 billion in 24 African countries. With these new selections, MCC expands its active programs to 14 countries in Africa with compact and threshold programs worth $3 billion with another $2.5 billion in the pipeline.
“I am also thrilled to join representatives from the Governments of Benin and Niger during tomorrow’s U.S.-Africa Business Forum to sign MCC’s first-ever concurrent regional compacts — a $504 million dollar program designed to reduce transportation costs along the corridor between the Port of Cotonou in Benin and Niger’s capital city of Niamey. Countries can grow faster, create more jobs, and attract additional private-sector investments when they are a part of dynamic regional markets.”
Along with selecting countries for new grant programs, MCC’s Board also reselected Côte d’Ivoire as eligible for a concurrent regional compact program; Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and Zambia for compact development; and Kiribati for threshold program 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 program.
Find out more about MCC’s selection process on its Who We Select web page.
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.