October 28, 2021

USAID, MCC chooses agriculture and rural transport as top priorities

The United States development agency and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), have chosen agriculture
and rural transport as the key sectors for its next package of aid to Mozambique, scheduled to start in 2023.

This information was shared by the MCC country director for Mozambique, Kenneth Miller, in Maputo at
an audience granted by Foreign Minister Veronica Macamo.

Speaking to reporters at the end of the meeting, Miller said the MCC is committed to working with the  Mozambican government to guarantee that its investment has a significant impact on poverty reduction and economic growth.

“We are already working with several ministries for investments in the areas of agriculture and rural transport as a way of creating jobs that can reduce the level of poverty in Mozambique”, Miller stressed.

Among the MCC’s priorities, Miller added, was the empowerment of women and young people.

“We shall ensure that our joint investments strike at the roots of poverty”, he said.

“We do not yet have a specific plan for these areas, because it’s a process that takes time, but the idea is that we shall also invest in these areas”.

The MCC’s aid packages are known as “compacts”, and the US ambassador to Mozambique, Dennis Hearne, said, this next MCC compact is an opportunity to make lasting investments in rural transport and in the agricultural area”.

The National Coordinator of the Mozambican government’s Office for the Development of Compact II, Higino de Marrule, reiterated that the results of a joint assessment showed that agriculture and rural transport are priority areas.

He confirmed that the Compact is scheduled to begin in 2023, but the Mozambican team hopes to start work earlier.

“Well before 2023, we want to deliver a package of projects constituting Compact II that will be signed by the Mozambican government and the MCC,” he said

Marrule. Marrule added that the cost of the Compact has not yet been defined “but we hope it will reach close to US$500 million”.

Mozambique’s first MCC compact was signed in 2007 and ran for five years. It was a grant of US$506.9 million, of which only US$447.9 million (88 per cent) was spent. The largest component was a water and sanitation project budgeted at US$203.6 million intended to improve access to safe, reliable water supplies and sanitation services.
The MCC Board of Directors announced in December 2019 that it had selected Mozambique for a second compact.

Source: Mozambique News Agency