19 August 2019
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Friday, 02 August 2019 15:14

Three months wait for Malawi MCC second compact

Written by  Memory Kutengule
President Mutharika presents a gift to Cairnross at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre - Pic by Abel Ikiloni President Mutharika presents a gift to Cairnross at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre - Pic by Abel Ikiloni

Blantyre, August 1, 2019:  Malawi will have to wait until December this year to know which among the three proposed project areas on social and economic issues will be picked for funding under the second Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact.

Last year in December, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) approved the findings of the preliminary economic constraints to growth analysis for the second compact for Malawi after the country successfully implemented the first $ 350 million compact in the energy sector.

Newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of the United States Government Agency Sean Cairncross on Thursday met Arthur President Peter Mutharika for talks on how the country can build on success story in the first pact and how best the country can utilize the second compact.

“I am looking forward to seeing the impact of our energy investments and learning how Malawi is continuing to create a foundation for sustainable economic growth and better lives for its citizens.

“Already, Malawi signed an agreement with Mozambique to trade energy regionally using the 400 kilovolt transmission lines and substation built under the first compact. This is an exciting example of increased regional integration, positioning Malawi to meet its future energy needs,” he explained at a media briefing on Thursday.

Cairncros said the decision by the board of MCC to select Malawi for the second compact is evidence of the government’s continued commitment to strengthening democratic institutions, maintaining sound economic policies and investing in its people.

According to Cairncross, the second compact analysis has so far identified three binding constraints to growth such as macroeconomic stability, high costs for road freight and barriers linking farms to markets as well as access to land for investment.

“The next step in the process of developing a second compact will be to unpack the social and economic issues surrounding these three potential areas of investment.

“Suffice to say, a team of experts will come to Malawi to work alongside Malawi Millennium Development Trust till December to shape the framework for the proposed second compact.

“We want to develop a program that addresses the needs of Malawians and seizes the opportunities to spur private sector led economic growth,” he said.

According to Cairncross, it was MCC wish to see that annually, Malawi continue being eligible to the compacts showing a clear commitment to good governance and sustaining compact investments as stipulated in MCC score card.

Malawi Millennium Development Trust Chief Executive Officer Dye Mawindo concurred with Cairncross that the first compact has greatly improved energy sector in Malawi as evidenced by upgrading of Nkula A Hydro power plant added 36 megawatts to the country’s power grid.

He then called upon private sector to support the compact programme to achieve the intended results on poverty reduction.

Created by Congress in 2004, MCC partners with the world’s poorest countries to tackle the most pressing development challenges. It uses multiyear agreements to invest in projects that create jobs and expand markets, promote growth through infrastructure, and lay the groundwork for healthy communities.