Officials from the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) visited Côte d’Ivoire this week to congratulate the government on its selection as eligible to develop an MCC compact program. The delegation included MCC’s Vice President of Compact Operations Kamran Khan, Principal Deputy Vice President of Compact Operations Kyeh Kim, Counselor to the CEO Jonathan Bloom, and Managing Director for Africa Jason Small.
In December 2015, the MCC Board of Directors selected Cote d’Ivoire as compact-eligible following several years of steady improvement by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire on the MCC scorecard of policy indicators, and a strong year-long partnership with MCC in developing an MCC threshold program, which Côte d’Ivoire was named eligible for in December 2014. Compacts are large, five-year investments that address a country’s greatest constraints to economic growth, and threshold programs are smaller-scale investments designed for countries that don’t yet qualify for a compact. The work done by Côte d’Ivoire on threshold program development will provide a solid foundation for an innovative compact program.
On its most recent MCC scorecard, Côte d’Ivoire passed 13 out of 20 indicators, demonstrating remarkable improvement from passing only five indicators in 2013. Since its selection for eligibility for a threshold program, the Government of Côte d’Ivoire has been a committed and collaborative partner. The government has remained highly engaged with indicator institutions, identifying reforms and providing data updates needed to improve its overall performance. U.S. Ambassador Terence McCulley said: “The MCC compact is a strong symbol of the Unites States’ partnership with Cote d’Ivoire as it moves towards its goal of becoming an emerging economy by 2020.”
In its selection decision, MCC’s Board also expressed its support for Côte d’Ivoire to explore potential regional investments with neighboring countries. MCC recognizes that growth is more dependent than ever on economic integration. Countries can grow faster, create more jobs, and attract more investment when they are part of dynamic regional markets. The potential for a regional investment is great given the critical role Côte d’Ivoire plays in the West Africa region.
Côte d’Ivoire’s transition from developing a threshold program to developing a compact program is a testament to the country’s continued commitment to strong policy improvement and political stability, as evidenced by its recent presidential elections.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an innovative and independent U.S. Government agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. Created by the U.S. Congress in January 2004, with strong bipartisan support, MCC provides time-limited grants and assistance to countries that demonstrate a commitment to good governance, investments in people and economic freedom. Learn more about MCC at www.mcc.gov.