MCC’s $350m compact finally  launched

By Linda Kwanjana

Malawi Government and the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) on Monday formally inaugurated the US $350 million (about K612 billion) second compact at a ceremony held in Dallas, Texas.

The launch, which coincided with the MCC’s 20th Anniversary celebrations held at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, was presided over by His Excellency Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of Malawi and Alice Albright, MCC Chief Executive Officer.

President Chakwera, who is in the United States of America for the US-Africa Summit, commended the compact’s importance in driving Malawi’s economic prosperity and promoting transparent governance for all citizens.

“This compact exemplifies Malawi’s steadfast commitment to building a more resilient and self-reliant nation,” said President Chakwera.

Chakwera said the financial resources provided by the American people under the compact would enable Malawi to resolve challenges in linking smallholder farmers to markets by improving the road infrastructure.

“With poor rural road infrastructure, we see extremely high prices of farm-to-market transport and in some cases, significant market power of transporters and agro-processors,” he said.

He added; “These prices potentially inhibit the development of Malawi’s rural economy and stymie structural transformation by preventing the rural to urban movement of labor, and diversified production of cash crops.”

President Chakwera said he was proud that Malawi has fulfilled both legislative and administrative reforms and actions which were conditions set out before the Compact could become effective.

Albright described the multi-million dollar grant for infrastructure and land policy reforms as a significant investment in the people of Malawi.

“We are proud of our strong, enduring partnership with the people of Malawi and believe this compact will play a crucial role in Malawi’s economic development,” said Albright.

The MCA, a US Government agency, is investing in Malawi’s transportation and land sectors to enhance rural market access, improve land administration and promote inclusive economic growth.

Malawi’s longstanding partnership with the MCC, dating back to 2005, has seen commendable progress in previous compact programmes and policy areas.

The new compact will prioritise the Accelerated Growth Corridors Project (AGC) to reduce transport costs in rural areas and enhance land productivity, alongside the American Catalyst Facility for Development Project to facilitate private sector engagement.

As part of the official launch, MCA Malawi II will host a symbolic celebration on May 30, 2024, in Lilongwe, to be graced by President Chakwera and MCC boss Albright.