Millennium Challenge Corporation Powering Africa: Liberia

As we wrapped up our time in Liberia, our visit to the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant reminded me just how important strong partnerships are to Millennium Challenge Corporation's (MCC) work of reducing poverty through economic growth. As part of our $257 million Liberia Compact, launched early this year, MCC is investing in the rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant, the country’s single largest power source. In addition to the Government of Liberia, MCC is funding this project alongside the European Investment Bank, Germany’s KfW Development Bank, and the Government of Norway to aid Liberia’s post-Ebola economic recovery.

The overwhelming majority of Liberians do not have access to electricity, and most of the country’s roads are unpaved, making travel difficult during heavy rains that are common here. MCC’s compact with Liberia focuses on addressing the lack of access to reliable and affordable electricity and inadequate road infrastructure. As a result of MCC’s investments, Mt. Coffee is on track to deliver power from the first turbine by the end of the year.

Like neighboring Sierra Leone, Liberia experienced the devastation of the Ebola epidemic in 2014 and 2015. The virus killed more than 4,800 people in Liberia and dealt a blow to the country’s economy. Our discussions with local businesses and civil society groups over the last few days have reinforced how vital MCC’s infrastructure investments will be to lifting up Liberia’s people.

This was immediately clear when we visited the Port of Monrovia. Over 80 percent of Liberian imports pass through the port, and the high cost of power inhibits the port from expanding its capacity for vital goods.

Along with U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Christine Elder, our team had the honor of meeting with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to discuss political and economic developments. She made history by becoming Africa’s first democratically elected female president and is the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on women’s rights and peacebuilding, both in Liberia and beyond.

We look forward to working with the Government of Liberia and all of our great compact partners in the years ahead as we unlock the country’s economic potential and help the people of Liberia lift themselves out of poverty.

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 is working with other donors to rehabilitate and upgrade the Mt. Coffee hydropower dam to provide 88 MW of power to the Liberia grid. [MCC photo]
Posted by Lorelle Atkinson
November 1, 2016

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