Washington, D.C.—The U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting on June 18, 2014. The agenda items included discussions of a proposed compact with Ghana and the agency’s criteria for selecting countries eligible for subsequent compacts.
The Board of Directors reviewed the proposed Ghana compact. The proposed $498.2 million compact aims to improve power supply and catalyze private sector investment. The Ghana compact contributes to two White House initiatives–Power Africa and Partnership for Growth. It focuses on turning around the power distribution utilities, targeted infrastructure investments, policy, institutional, and regulatory reforms, and expanding access for micro-, small- and medium-sized companies. These investments are expected to result in a more functional, credit worthy and self-sustaining power utility that will better serve its existing and future customers. Under the proposed compact, in addition to MCC funds, the Government of Ghana would contribute approximately $37.4 million. The board was not asked to make a decision on the Ghana compact, which is still in the process of being finalized.
The Board of Directors continued its discussion on the agency’s long-term strategic approach for determining partner countries with a focus on how the agency has selected them for subsequent compacts. MCC partner countries are not automatically entitled to subsequent compacts and to date, of the 16 partner countries that have closed out their five-year compacts, only eight countries have been selected as eligible for a subsequent compact. The board received a briefing on past decisions, underscoring that MCC not only considers the merits, risks and opportunities of making initial investments in new countries, but also considers the possibility of making subsequent investments in existing (or previous) compact partner countries by examining country policy performance as well as progress on the implementation of the prior compact.
MCC’s new Chief Executive Officer, Dana J. Hyde, and board members Susan McCue and Ambassador Mark Green attended. They were all confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 20, 2014. This was the first quarterly meeting to have included all nine members of the agency’s Board of Directors since September 2009.
Secretary of State John Kerry, board chair, Michael B. Froman, U.S. Trade Representative, and board members Morton H. Halperin and Lorne Craner were also present. Sarah Bloom Raskin, Deputy Secretary of Treasury, and Eric G. Postel, USAID Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Economic Growth, Education and Environment, represented Secretary of Treasury Jacob Lew, board vice chair, and Rajiv Shah, Administrator of USAID, respectively. Both were unable to participate in the quarterly meeting.
MCC’s Board of Directors is expected to hold its next quarterly meeting in September.
MCC is an innovative and independent U.S. agency that is working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. Created by the U.S. Congress in January 2004, with strong bipartisan support, MCC provides time-limited grants and assistance to countries that demonstrate a commitment to good governance, investments in people and economic freedom.