MCC Board of Directors Approves Côte d’Ivoire Compact
For Immediate Release
September 27, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 27, 2017 – At its quarterly meeting today, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors approved a $524 million compact with the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire to spur economic growth and reduce poverty. The program will support the country’s long-term drive to diversify its economy through investments in the education and transport sectors. MCC’s Board also discussed a proposed threshold program with Togo and approved the annual Selection Criteria and Methodology Report (SCMR) for FY 2018, which details how the Board will evaluate countries for possible selection in December.
“I am pleased to announce the MCC Board of Directors’ approval of the Côte d’Ivoire Compact,” Acting MCC CEO Jonathan Nash said. “Côte d’Ivoire exemplifies ‘the MCC Effect’ − MCC’s ability to drive reform even before money is spent.”
After passing only five of 20 policy indicators in 2013, the Government of Côte d’Ivoire adopted MCC’s scorecard as its roadmap for reform. After Côte d’Ivoire passed MCC’s scorecard in 2015, MCC’s Board of Directors selected the country as eligible to develop a compact.
Côte d’Ivoire, a regional economic hub in West Africa, struggled with political instability and economic decline throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Since 2012, political stability has allowed the economy to recover from years of stagnation, with the country now averaging a 9 percent increase in GDP growth in each of the past five years. Despite this recovery, the poverty rate stood at 46.3 percent in 2015.
MCC and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire conducted a joint economic analysis to identify projects that would address two of the greatest constraints to growth in the country: low availability of skilled workers, and challenges to moving goods and people, especially in Abidjan, the nation’s economic crossroads. The investment was designed to support economic growth and private investment by building workforce capacity, reducing transportation costs, and opening new markets, benefitting the region and firms looking to expand their businesses.
The Skills for Employability and Productivity Project will increase access to secondary education and support the construction of up to 84 new secondary schools along with teacher training. It will also help the government formalize a national gender policy to mitigate gender disparities, improving outcomes for girls in the education system. Through a public-private partnership, a new technical and vocational education training (TVET) model will advance development of in-demand skills that businesses need. The Abidjan Transport Project is designed to reduce transport costs and improve efficiencies for households and businesses. The project aims to rehabilitate roads in and around the port area, while improving road network management and maintenance. The Government of Côte d’Ivoire is expected to contribute an additional $22 million to support the compact.
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.