Cape Verde, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe backed by the Millennium Challenge Corporation

8 February 2010

Praia, Cape Verde, 8 Feb – The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has already made US$7.500 billion available to promote economic growth and poverty reduction in 20 countries, the institution’s executive director, Daniel Yohannes, stated in Praia.

Portuguese is the official language in three of those counties: Cape Verde, Mozambique, and Sao Tome and Principe.

Through an MCC compact (financial package), Cape Verde was awarded US$116 million, about five times less than the US$507 million received by Mozambique.

Sao Tome and Principe has yet to be covered, though it does have technical assistance programmes, given that there are 17 admission criteria ranging from good governance, economic policies that take social (health and education) aspects into account, and the fight against corruption.

Daniel Yohannes made his comments on Friday near the end of a two-day visit to Cape Verde. He recalled that the MCC was founded in 2004 by the administration of then president George W. Bush to create new practices in development aid to emerging countries.

“The MCC is a US agency whose main goal is to reduce poverty via programmes to support long term economic growth. It was set up in 2004, based on what was learned from some of the best practices obtained in the last four decades by other American development support agencies,” Yohannes told the Portuguese news agency Lusa.

The MCC has only excluded one country to date, Niger, whose authorities did not follow the convergence policies, specifically regarding the fight against corruption.

Of the 20 countries with which the MCC maintains relations, 12 are African: Cape Verde and Mozambique, along with Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Senegal and Tanzania. The others are Armenia, El Salvador, Georgia, Honduras, Moldova, Mongolia, Nicaragua and Vanuatu. (macauhub)