The president of the US agency Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Alice Albright, said this Thursday, September 21, that the donation of 500 million dollars for coastal connectivity and resilience projects represents a “landmark moment” in relations with Mozambique.
Speaking after the signing of the second financing compact on Capitol Hill in Washington, together with the Mozambican Minister of Economy and Finance, Max Tonela, the president of the US agency referred to the aid “to around 15 million Mozambicans over the next 20 years in various aspects of daily life”.
The Mozambique Coastal Connectivity and Resilience project, financed to the tune of 500 million dollars by the US government, plus a 37.5 million dollar contribution from the Mozambican government, will improve transportation networks in rural areas.
The funding will also encourage commercial agriculture through political and fiscal reforms and improve coastal livelihoods through climate resilience initiatives in the central province of Zambézia.
“The MCC is very selective about the countries it works with. We work with countries that are looking to invest in people and improve their economies and that’s why it’s a landmark moment in relations between the two countries for us to start this Compact,” explained the US official, speaking to journalists after the signing of the agreement, which was attended by the President of the Republic, Filipe Nyusi.
Alice Albright also added that “the United States is incredibly proud of the relationship it has with Mozambique and my agency, which is part of the US government, is deeply honored to be able to sign our second agreement with Mozambique (…) we started our first agreement in 2004 and we’re going to work on the second one in various areas, to help the country with some of the impacts of the climate.”
For his part, the Mozambican Minister of Economy and Finance said that the signing of this financing agreement is “a new milestone in the excellent relations between Mozambique and the United States. It’s an initiative that will help speed up Mozambique’s development process, stimulate an increase in employment, production and the well-being of the population (…) and impact the whole country, since most of the investment will be made in road infrastructure. We will have more than 200 kilometers of roads in the Central region, including the links between Zambézia and Niassa, and the secondary roads,” said Max Tonela.
Following the signing of this agreement, the MCC Mozambique will be set up, which will be jointly managed by the governments of the two countries and responsible for implementing the projects.
Tonela stressed that “the next steps will be the disbursement of the first funds, around 50 million dollars, with the signing that took place today [Thursday 21], which will make it possible to finance the technical work, which should take place over the next few months”.
Overall, through this funding, the MCC will allocate 310.5 million dollars to Rural Connectivity and Transport (CTR) projects, including the bridge over the Licungo river and the construction of the Mocuba bypass, a project valued at 201 million dollars.
The third structural component, worth 100 million dollars, is aimed at Coastal Livelihood and Climate Resilience (CLCR) projects to strengthen productivity “through sustainable increases in fish and shellfish harvesting and through non-extractive activities”, but also using “sustainable ecosystem benefits, such as carbon credits and coastal protection benefits”.
This is MCC’s second financing compact with Mozambique, after another, worth 506.9 million dollars, concluded in 2013, focused on water supply and sanitation, land ownership issues, transportation and agriculture.