United States’ Millennium Challenge Corporation to Begin Development of Côte d’Ivoire Threshold Program

MCC Deputy Vice President Thomas Kelly & Ambassador McCulley speaking to the press (Dept. of State)
MCC Deputy Vice President Thomas Kelly & Ambassador McCulley speaking to the press (Dept. of State)

ABIDJAN – Representatives of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) held a press conference today at the United States Embassy to discuss the development of Côte d’Ivoire’s Threshold Program.  Côte d’Ivoire was selected as eligible for the development of a Threshold Program by the MCC Board of Directors in December 2014.  This week, the MCC team held a series of meetings and site visits important to the preparation of the Threshold Program.

“For several years the Ivoirian government has been working diligently to meet the high standards for qualifying for a partnership with the MCC and this Threshold Program recognizes the significant progress that has been made,” U.S. Ambassador Terence McCulley said.  “We look forward to continuing to strengthen the ties between our two countries and to support Côte d’Ivoire’s efforts to become an emerging economy by 2020.”

Thomas Kelly, MCC’s Deputy Vice President for Policy and Evaluation and MCC country director David Weld, met with President Alassane Ouattara, Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, as well as other key government, public and private officials to discuss the next steps in the implementation of the Threshold Program.

The MCC focuses on reducing poverty through economic growth in a select number of countries which are committed to good governance, economic freedom and investing in their citizens.  The Threshold Program is a country-driven partnership that aims to enhance a country’s prospects for selection for a future MCC Compact by supporting policy reforms that target constraints to economic growth.  Threshold Programs are focused on policy reform and institutional strengthening.  The program development will engage the Ivoirian private sector and civil society.

“The Government of Côte d’Ivoire has worked hard over the past few years to implement tough reforms and strive toward improved governance,” Kelly said.  “We congratulate the government on this progress and we look forward to continued progress and working with Côte d’Ivoire on the development of a Threshold Program.”

In 2014, for the first time, Côte d’Ivoire was given a score of 50 percent or higher in half of the 20 MCC indicators measuring policy performance, including the critical hurdles on Control of Corruption and Democratic Rights.