The U.S. Government's Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Nash and African Development Bank Group Senior Vice-President Charles Boamah today announced new opportunities for collaboration between the institutions. The announcement was made during 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," MCC COO Jonathan Nash said. "The African Development Bank will continue to be an important partner for MCC as we explore our new authority to invest regionally."
In his remarks, Charles Boamah, Senior Vice President, African Development Bank said: "The collaboration between the Bank and the MCC has strengthened since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) in 2010. 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.
MCC and the African Development Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding in May 2016 at the Bank's annual meetings in Lusaka Zambia.
As announced today in a session with the PAC-DBIA delegation at the African Development Bank headquarters in Abidjan, MCC and the Bank will now cooperate 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, the African Development Bank 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 the Bank 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 the African Development Bank 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.
From June 24 to July 6, PAC-DBIA conducted a fact-finding trip to gain insight into market opportunities for U.S. businesses in fast-growing, African economies. MCC COO Jonathan Nash joined a delegation from PAC-DBIA and the U.S. Department of Commerce in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana to demonstrate MCC's support for African growth and commitment to expanding trade and investment in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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 poor countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, from fighting corruption to respecting democratic rights. Learn more about MCC at www.mcc.gov.
About the African Development Bank
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is Africa's premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 37 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.
For more information: www.afdb.org.