The Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) has ended with Liberia only left with the responsibility to maintain and sustain the gains made within the five years to have a hydropower plant. While this project that has restored Liberia’s hope has ended, there are still more projects that the US Government has, but with conditions to meet before benefiting from them.
Disclosing some of the preconditions on April 28, 2021 at a ceremony marking the closure of the MCC, US Ambassador, Michael A. McCarthy, says investment by the government in its people, sound economic policy and governance are some major factors that can qualify a country for the MCC and other supports.
In his remarks, the Ambassador said meeting the benchmarks makes it possible for the United States not to give a country loan under the compact but grant which does not come with payment or interest, and for Liberia to have another opportunity as such, she must strive to create a condition that her citizens will have an easy access to affordable electricity.
“What Liberia needs to do for this grant is just simple; to protect democracy and to have free and fair trade, and I hope that good governance that Liberia had demonstrated to have this compact will be demonstrated again for another compact,” said Ambassador McCarthy.
As electricity is now restored with the government in full control, Ambassador McCarthy said the government must try as much as possible to end power theft that has become rampant over the time. He further challenged the Liberian Government to support the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Authority and to make sure that anyone caught in improper acts including theft should be made to account.
Ambassador McCarthy recalled that his country has been instrumental in the issue with Liberia’s electricity. From history, he said the dam in Mount Coffee was built in the 1960s with US assistance but destroyed during the war. He stressed that the result of destroying the dam was darkness, and darkness has continue to hang over Liberia and its people. It was at this point that the US joined with other partners including Germany KfW, Norway, and the European Investment Bank to relieve the country of this stress. Additionally, he said it was a joyous event to also see US$18 million raw water pipeline dedicated to the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation with the help of the US Government.
He said the bottom line to all these is for the government to engage in good governance, fair and open trade, and allow the people to own their own government and be economically empowered.
He acknowledged former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for beginning the negotiation and agreement leading to the compact, and President George Weah whose regime has seen the completion of the project and the ending of the compact.