20 December 2012

Sierra Leone: As American Ambassador Brings Good Tidings

Photo: Boakai Fofana/ allAfrica.com
Liberia Finance Minister Amara Konneh signs for a U.S.$15 million MCC grant in 2010.

American Ambassador Micheal Owen in warm handshake with President Koroma at the Presidential Lodge

The American Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Michael Owen has informed President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone's winning of the coveted Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact Award worth millions of dollars.

"The Award, announced on December 19, 2012, was given in recognition of President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma's Government's record of good governance, economic freedom and investments in people," a press release from the Office of the President states.

According to Ambassador Owen, the MCC board has unanimously agreed that Sierra Leone has qualified for the Compact due to the extraordinary achievements by the government of Sierra Leone in the last few years.

Receiving the good news, President Ernest Bai Koroma on behalf of the people of Sierra Leone profusely thanked the Government and people of the United States of America for the good news that Sierra Leone passed twelve out of the twenty parameters set by the Compact Group.

"As a government we have rolled out our programmes for the next five years, and we will also ensure that the free health care, the Smallholder Commercialization Programme and other programmes are continued in the next five years", he said. He also added that it is a motivation for Sierra Leone to do more.

The Chief Executive noted that Sierra Leone has done well in promoting human rights, free, fair and transparent elections as well as creating more space and opportunities for everyone.

He also thanked the government and people of the United States for the great confidence they continue to have in Sierra Leone.

Please read press release below:

Office of the President

State House




DECEMBER 20, 2012

Sierra Leone Wins US Government's MCC Compact Award

Sierra Leone has won the coveted Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact Award worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The Award, announced on December 19, 2012, was given in recognition of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma's Government's record of good governance, economic freedom and investments in people. To be eligible for this award a country must pass at least half of the twenty indicators being assessed (Sierra Leone passed twelve), and must also pass the 'control of corruption' indicator and either the 'Civil Liberties' or 'Political Rights' indicators (the country passed all three).

A Compact is a multi-year agreement between the United States Government supported Millennium Challenge Corporation and an eligible country to fund specific programs targeted at reducing poverty and stimulating economic growth.

The award commences a multi-year partnership dedicated to pursuing economic growth and poverty reduction through the development and implementation of a Compact. Sierra Leone will develop its MCC proposals in broad consultation with the citizenry and in accordance with priorities stated in the country's Agenda for Prosperity. A National Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) will be set up as an accountable entity to manage and oversee all aspects of implementation.

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