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Millennium Challenge Corporation and African Development Explore Further Collaboration
July 4, 2018
African Development Bank (AfDB) and the U.S. Government's Millenium Challenge Corporation (UCC), a U.S.-based international aid source, announced new opportunities for collaboration between the two institutions.
The U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Nash and African Development Bank (AfDB) Group Senior Vice-President Charles Boamah discussed the possibilities while on the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) mission stop in Côte d’Ivoire.
“We are excited to be expanding this important partnership with the African Development Bank in support of our shared commitment to reducing poverty through economic growth,” Millennium Challenge Corporation COO Jonathan Nash said. “The African Development Bank will continue to be an important partner for MCC as we explore our new authority to make cross-border, regional investments.”
“The collaboration between the Bank and the MCC has strengthened since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2010,” African Development Bank Senior Vice President Charles Boamah said in his remarks. “The MCC’s areas of focus are closely aligned with the Bank’s priority areas in the Regional Member Countries, including infrastructure (particularly transport and energy), agriculture and human development. As the Bank significantly increases private sector investment to foster inclusive growth and economic transformation in RMCs, deeper engagement with strategic partners such as the MCC is critical.”
This announcement builds on the Memorandum of Understanding signed by MCC and the African Development Bank in May 2016. MCC and the AfDB signed their first MoU in 2010.
As announced today in a session with the PAC-DBIA delegation at the African Development Bank headquarters in Abidjan, MCC and AfDB will now be cooperating in two new areas of opportunity. The first area will support the efforts of MCC’s $375 million Benin Compact to expand access to electricity for Benin’s rural and peri-urban areas. The second area will be to collaborate more expansively on regional investments.
In Benin, AfDB will work with the Millennium Challenge Account-Benin II, the entity implementing the MCC Benin Compact, to stimulate public and private investment in the energy sector and improve energy access for the people of Benin. Through this cooperation, MCC and AfDB will work to increase access to blended grant and debt financing for off-grid and mini-grid companies as part of an Off-Grid Energy Facility funded by the compact.
MCC and AfDB will also work together to implement MCC’s new authority to make regional investments. In April 2018, Congress passed and President Trump signed the AGOA and MCA Modernization Act giving MCC increased flexibility to promote regional collaboration, trade, and economic growth by authorizing MCC to enter into an additional, concurrent compact with a country partner specifically to promote regional integration. This new authority aligns with AfDB’s Regional Integration Policy and Strategy for 2014-2023 that seeks to create larger, more attractive markets, link landlocked countries to international markets, and support intra-African trade.
During the meeting, COO Nash also took the opportunity to highlight MCC’s $524.7 million Côte d’Ivoire Compact, which is designed to support private-sector led economic growth. MCC’s initiatives in Côte d’Ivoire aim to build workforce capacity and facilitate transportation in Abidjan, creating new opportunities for engagement in the education and transportation sectors.