Millennium Challenge Corporation CEO meets President Banda

The Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Daniel W. Yohannes, met President Joyce Banda at the New State House in Lingwe, Malawi’s Capital on Thursday.

He is also expected to hold a series of meetings with government officials and members of Malawi’s civil society and private sector.

In June 2012, MCC reinstated the Malawi Compact, a $350.7 million grant designed to revitalize Malawi’s power sector.

Daniel W. Yohannes meets President Banda

The compact was placed on operational hold in July 2011 and formally suspended in March 2012 due to a pattern of actions by the Government of Malawi that conflicted with the democratic governance criteria that MCC uses to select its compact partners. Since President Banda’s inauguration, she and her administration have demonstrated their commitment to reversing this pattern.

While in Malawi, Yohannes was also expected to visit the Bunda electrical substation, a site targeted for rehabilitation under the MCC compact. US Ambassador Jeanine Jackson will accompany the CEO.

Yohannes has said that the relationship between the United States and Malawi is strengthened by our shared commitment to democratic governance. President Banda deserves much credit for the bold reforms she is undertaking. He said he shares her recognition that this work would not be possible without the support of the people of Malawi.

“They will need to continue to take the courageous steps necessary to deepen this country’s democracy,” said Yohannes.

MCC’s Malawi Compact is reduce poverty by improving the availability, reliability and quality of Malawi’s power supply. The compact will fund rehabilitation, upgrades and modernization of power systems, and will support the Government of Malawi’s policy reform agenda in building capacity and providing technical assistance in critical sector institutions.

An estimated five million Malawians will benefit from the compact over the next 25 years through reduced energy costs and improved productivity in the agriculture, manufacturing and service sectors.

Following the CEO’s visit, an MCC technical mission will travel to Lilongwe to prepare for compact implementation, including carrying out a reassessment of project activities after nearly one year of inactivity.

In June, President Banda hailed the Board of the MCC of the United States Government for its unanimous decision to lift the suspension of the Malawi Compact, saying the decision to reinstate the compact was in recognition of the steps taken by her Government in the past weeks to address issues related to political and economic governance including respect of human rights and the rule law and the restoration of the programme with the IMF,

MCC had put Malawi Compact on operational hold in July 2011 following the deaths of Malawians during the July 20, 2011 demonstrations. The Compact was the suspended in March 2012 following the deterioration in the political and economic environment.

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