It’s an honor to join you, Madam Minister, to see how the partnership between Benin and the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation is improving your country’s justice system.
The ability of the judicial system to resolve claims in a prompt and impartial way is fundamental to the rule of law. It is essential for a strong economy. And, it helps create an environment that attracts businesses and investments.
For these reasons, Benin invested part of its MCC compact in making its justice system better. The results are impressive.
First, 100 judges and 98 clerks received training in banking law, securities, credit and maritime litigation, as well as criminal law, particularly with regard to economic and financial crimes.
Second, Benin established a Legal Information Center, where your citizens can access laws and legal decisions. I had the pleasure of inaugurating this center yesterday.
Third, the Benin-MCC partnership built four new Courts of First Instance and a Court of Appeals. This brings justice closer to the Beninese, decreasing the average travel distance to the nearest court from about 35 to 13 kilometers. I am honored to be here today in Abomey-Calavi to help inaugurate one of Benin’s newest courthouses.
Benin’s justice system is stronger today. I am proud of the role MCC played to make this possible in partnership with the people of Benin. Already, we know that the percentage of private firms who say they have confidence in the justice system has doubled – to an impressive 70 percent.
Let us now sustain and build upon this foundation, because an effective justice system is essential to the rule of law, and Benin’s economic growth and prosperity, today and well into the future.
Merci. Vive la coopération entre le Bénin et les Etats-Unis!