The acting Vice-President of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Ms Kyeh Kim, has announced that Ghana has been selected as one of the countries in West Africa to benefit from another compact programme from the MCC.
The Regional Compact Programme, Ms Kim said, would be used for the construction of large-scale, cross-border infrastructural projects in a pool of countries in West Africa, of which Ghana would be a beneficiary.
Ms Kim, who announced this when she paid a courtesy call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House last Tuesday, described the new compact as “a Christmas present” to the people and the government of Ghana.
Ms Kim said the MCC was recently awarded the legislative authority to enter into concurrent regional compacts and mentioned the other beneficiary countries for the cross-border compact programme as Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin and Niger.
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She explained that the previous statute allowed the MCC to enter into a compact at a time and so the new legislation that had been offered by the US Congress and signed into law by the President allowed the MCC to enter into the regional compact.
She said the MCC was exploring, in the case of Ghana, with its neighbours, the potential for large-scale cross-border infrastructure.
“There are opportunities with your neighbours, especially with Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire, that we can explore. We have already started having preliminary discussions on energy-focused cross-border infrastructure, as well as transport,” Ms Kim added.
She said the selection of Ghana to be a beneficiary of the Regional Compact Programme was a “big reward” for almost completing the ongoing compact.
Ms Kim expressed the appreciation of the MCC to President Akufo-Addo for his personal engagement and leadership throughout the ECG concession process.
She said the keen interest that was shown by President Akufo-Addo contributed immensely to bring the ECG concession process to fruition and that resulted in a situation where $190 million had been released to the government for the compact.
“In every instance, your leadership has pushed this compact to make progress and made tough decisions for the benefit of the electricity sector and, hopefully, to avoid future ‘dumsor’,” she added.
President Akufo-Addo commended the MCC for the decision to include Ghana in the Regional Compact Programme, describing it as good news.
He reiterated that Ghana valued its relations with the United States and said the first compact with President Kufuor and the subsequent compact which was ongoing amounted to over $1 billion of taxpayers’ money gifted to contribute to the development of Ghana’s agricultural and energy sectors.
He said that was a vote of confidence in the government and the people of Ghana to utilise such funds transparently and assured Ms Kim that Ghana would continue to act to grow the relationship.
The President said the opportunities from the programme would be of immense benefit to the country and help in realising the prospects and potential of ECOWAS and its regional market.