MCC Powering Africa: Empowering People and Energizing Communities

This month, I have the privilege of visiting West Africa with the Millennium Challenge Corporation's (MCC) CEO Dana J. Hyde. We are visiting four partner countries where MCC is making major investments in energy infrastructure to reduce energy poverty: Benin, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ghana. MCC has a strong commitment to Africa -- since the agency’s founding in 2004, more than 65 percent of MCC’s total portfolio has been invested in African countries. Nearly 70 percent of this more than $7 billion has gone toward infrastructure such as roads, ports and power.

The beginning of our trip coincided with last week’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, and here at MCC, we recognize that energy poverty is a significant obstacle to economic growth on the continent. Two out of every three people in sub-Saharan Africa don’t have access to electricity, limiting access to quality health care, education, and economic opportunity for more than 600 million people. This is why MCC is proud to be a major contributor to the goals of Power Africa -- a U.S. government effort to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa. The agency has committed approximately $1.5 billion in support of the effort through compacts and threshold programs that improve the quality and reliability of electricity and promote climate-smart measures, such as energy efficiency and renewable energy.

In each country we’ll visit over the next two weeks, in partnership with the governments, MCC has developed a program to address the unique challenges within the energy sector that are holding back economic growth. Working with our country partners, we’re helping to close gaps in energy-sector policies and regulations, and strengthen sector institutions to create an environment that encourages private investment.

During our trip, we’ll get an inside look at the development and implementation of MCC programs, guided by our country-based MCC colleagues and host country counterparts. We will meet with government officials who are helping to move needed policy reforms forward, and we will join roundtable discussions with private sector leaders to hear about the key energy challenges for businesses and investors in West Africa. But what I’m looking forward to the most is talking with the many people who have benefited from MCC’s investments and those who stand to benefit from our ongoing energy investments.

I look forward to sharing their stories over the next two weeks as we visit MCC partner countries to see firsthand how MCC is empowering individuals and energizing communities in Africa. Stay tuned for updates from Benin, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ghana!

About the Author: Lorelle Atkinson serves as the Deputy Vice President for Public Affairs at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on the MCC's Blog and is part of a series of blogs being published during the MCC CEO's Africa Tour.

For more information:

  • Check out more photos, videos, and updates from the MCC CEO Africa Tour on the MCC's Spark page. 
  • Follow @MCCGov on Twitter for additional information and updates.
MCC has committed approximately $1.5 billion to improve the quality and reliability of electricity and promote climate-smart measures on the continent. [NASA Earth Observatory photo]
Posted by Lorelle Atkinson
October 25, 2016

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