• December 18, 2023

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE MCC COMPACT?

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE MCC COMPACT?
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By Donstance Koroma

The immediate release put out by U.S. Senator James Risch of Idaho, a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Relations Committee together with Chris Coons (D-Del) Thursday 14th  December, 2023 in connection to statement on the Minimum Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) decision to reselect Sierra Leone for a potential  future compact agreement.

The release captioned “Risch, Coons on MCC Decision to Release Sierra Leone for Potential Compact Agreement” reads,

“After the flaw elections in June, Sierra Leone’s government and the primary opposition party have made significant commitments that are essential but initial steps in a much longer process to restore confidence in Sierra Leone for a potential future compact agreement.”

The release narrated that there is still considerable work to be done by Sierra Leone government and its political leaders to meet all the required eligibility criteria. The actions the government and political leaders will take in the forthcoming months and years will be crucial in determining a final outcome that the release noted includes weather the U.S compact with Sierra Leone.

According to a Public Notice from the Ministry of Information and Civic Education dated Wednesday 13th December, 2023 announced the re-selection to continue compact development by the Millennium Challenge Corporation MCC Board of Directors, chaired by the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

The government release continued that the re-selection signals increase confidence in the action taken by the government of Sierra Leone to address concerns that the MCC Board raised in September.

The proposed compact, government release noted that it will increase the availability of reliable and affordable electricity in the country. Specifically, the compact will increase private participation in power supply, double the energy transmission capacity, increase access in select towns and enhance governance and institutional capacity, the government release added.

The government, having recently concluded the core feasibility studies to determine the scope of the compact, forward engaging in negotiation with MCC to finalize the process, the government recalled that in November of this year, the country passed the MCC scored card for the fifth consecutive time.

Upon receiving the score card in November, President Bio reiterated thus: “most valuable contribution MCC has made to Sierra Leone to date has been the provision of an objective framework to engage and access Sierra Leone’s development aspiration reflecting both national expectations and international bench marks”.

The government expressed its commitment to the critical reforms that are needed to deepen democracy, improve investment climate and strengthen and grow human capital development in line with the MCC principles.

According to the government, the much anticipated compact will address the binding constraint of energy, contributing to economic growth and poverty aviation for Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone Anti-corruption Commissioner, Francis Ben Kelfala in one of the social media channels have this to say: “For six straight years in my role as Anti-Corruption Commissioner, Sierra Leone has passed the MCC control on corruption indicator above 70% and as high as 83%. It is remarkable fact and that among many great things that the government has been doing a principal factor for our re-selection for continuation of multi million dollars compact development by the MCC Board. Congratulations to H.E President Julius Maada Bio

By look of things, it seems the U. S Congress doesn’t want to approve the said compact during President Bio’s tenure.

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