13 December 2018

Malawi Gets Xmas Gift From U.S., Qualifies for New MCC Compact

Photo: Stanley Makuti/Nyasa Times
President Peter Mutharika sharing ideas with the Vice President of Millenium Challenge Corporation Kamran Khan at Kamuzu Palace.

Malawi has been approved to seek another development compact by Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a United States of America (USA) government agency after it successfully completed the first compact of $350 million (K259 billion) energy project which closed on September 21 this year.

MCC announcement which has been treated as an early Christmas gift to Malawi, was learnt through a Twitter feed on Wednesday evening.

"MCC is excited to announce that at yesterday's board directors meeting the board selected Malawi as eligible for compact programme,"reads the tweet.

Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodlal Gondwe, said the President Peter Mutharika led administration has learnt the news of the new compact with "delight", saying the country scored 65 percent on tackling corruption to the scorecard in the first compact

Gondwe said it is the good score in the first compact which has given a leeway to Malawi to get a new development compact.

"We are extremely excited with this," said Gondwe.

He said the government this time around will seek another aspect on infrastructure.

"Maybe transportation, but we will see," said Gondwe.

United States Embassy public affairs officer Douglas Johnston said the decision by MCC board of directors chaired by US Secretary of State looked at other factors before selecting beneficiary countries.

He said MCC has a higher bar for second compact eligibility, including successful implementation of the first compact; improved scorecard policy performance; and a commitment to pursue sectoral reform.

Malawi improved scores in investing in people and ruling justly.

MCC compacts are basically grants designed to be invested in sectors that can facilitate economic development and poverty eradication in beficiary countries , usually poor economies such as Malawi.

The challenge now is for Malawi government to identify compact sectors that will improve the well being of Malawians and by and large the economy.

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