America’s MCC mission jets in to scrutinise Malawi

Exit IMF, MCC in.  A delegation from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a US government agency that assists developing countries is in the country to get fact about Malawi’s progress to address US government concerns in order to resume the $350 million grant meant for the boosting electricity output and distribution.

The delegation has already met senior government officials.

Energy Minister Goodall Gondwe is reported to have met the MCC mission and was optimistic Malawi will have the $350 million grant in its purse.

Ambassador Jackson: Governance is key

US Ambassador in Malawi Jeanine Jackson said recently the MCC will look at progress on the dialogue, a legitimate commission of inquiry, improvement of economic policy, engagement with the IMF, engagement in addressing the issues of the people.

She said the core of an MCC partnership is “about governance, respect of human rights and economic policy.”

Ambassador Jackson said there are two major timelines one this month MCC board meeting and another one in March 2012 where decisions on Malawi will be made.

The major reason for this visit from the MCC was to get more facts on the ground  about US concerns before its board meetings.

But although this is the case, the encompassing deciding factor will be Malawi’s progress on the IMF programme which is way off track.

In July this year, the MCC board put the grant on operational hold, citing the country’s continued poor governance especially after the July 20 anti-government demonstrations.

The MCC is designed to reward developing countries that protect human rights and practice rule of law.

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