His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio has met the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Alice Albright to finalise a $450 million Compact to address the country’s energy needs and ensures its productive uses in key agricultural value chains to address post-harvest losses.
President Bio said it is a pleasure to have the MCC as partners and welcomed them, adding that he is delighted to see how the partnership works.
The MCC CEO said: “…it is an honour for MCC to be working with Sierra Leone. On behalf of all Sierra Leoneans for a better Sierra Leone, we are delighted to be here”.
In a similar development, the Alice Albright and Sierra Leone’s Minister of Finance, Sheku Ahmed Fantamadi Bangura discussed issues around the economy, debt sustainability, inflations, government reforms and how the MCC compact will impact economic growth.
Alice Albright is on a three-day working visit in Sierra Leone and will be meeting with various government officials and visit some project sites.
Minister Bangura informed his guest that the Ministry of Finance has been following up on the development of the compact with the MCC and how the compact can impact energy as an enabler for the Education and Agriculture value chain to address food insecurity.
He highlighted how energy generation is impacting the economy and government budget.
Minister Bangura assured the CEO of the government’s commitments to deepen economic reforms, improve the MCC scorecard and provide the resources for a free and fair election.
Similarly, a mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) made a courtesy call to the Minister of Finance to brief him on the objective of their mission in the country.
Mission Chief Christian Saborowski informed the minister that they are here to gather information, look at government revenue measures, commitment to implementing the reforms and expenditure for 2022 and 2023.
He continued that the outcome of this mission will inform the next review (sixth) of the ECF programme and possible extension.
Statements from the Minister of Finance and Financial Secretary reiterate the government’s commitment to deepening economic reforms to improve revenue generation, expenditure management and debt sustainability.
The Sierra Leone compact aims to increase the availability of affordable and reliable electricity to satisfy demand among households, businesses, and social institutions.
During the three-day visit, MCC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alice Albright, accompanied by Ambassador Reimer and MCC Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Petrie, will meet with His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio and Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, as well as a range of stakeholders, from across the government, donor partners, and private sector representatives.
Additionally, the delegation will visit water kiosks constructed during the MCC funded threshold program that closed in 2021 and meet with community members who benefited from the project.
The $44.4 million Threshold program grant improved clean water access and electricity services within Freetown.
“MCC is proud to continue our longstanding partnership with the people of Sierra Leone. Our planned investments, alongside key policy and institutional reforms in the country’s power sector, will facilitate more reliable power for all Sierra Leoneans,” said Albright.
Albright added that the compact will reflect MCC’s continued commitment to promote resilient, long-term benefits to Sierra Leone’s economy.
“MCC has invested more than $9.5 billion with 24 countries in Africa, which are expected to benefit more than 90 million people,” said Albright. “Over the next five years, MCC expects to sign new compact and threshold program agreements globally worth more than $4 billion, making MCC well positioned to fund significant contributions to tackling the climate crises.”
MCC and the Government of Sierra Leone have been working together to design a compact since December 2020, when the Republic of Sierra Leone was selected by MCC’s Board of Directors.
Through the Sierra Leone Compact Development Unit (SLCDU), MCC and the Government of Sierra Leone have conducted several joint analyses on the country’s economy to identify the binding constraints to economic growth and potential opportunities for investments.
Together, they identified the power sector as the focus for the compact, and the SLCDU and MCC teams are currently finalising the project designs to address this challenge.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an independent U.S. government development agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth.
Created in 2004, MCC provides time-limited grants that pair investments in infrastructure with policy and institutional reforms to countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, fighting corruption and respecting democratic rights.