Thank you all coming to celebrate with us the results of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact with Senegal. The successful completion of this five-year Compact is an incredible achievement.
I know that it was not always easy. The investment of nearly two hundred and seventy (270) billion CFA francs by the Government of the United States of America via MCC was ambitious right from the start. But each project and activity was designed to fulfill the main mission of MCC — to reduce poverty through economic growth. It also was designed to improve Senegal’s agriculture productivity, a goal now included in the Plan Sénégal Emergeant. Today we celebrate the fruits of the hard work and dedication of MCA staff and all their partners and stakeholders. My sincere congratulations to all of you.
The U.S. government builds partnerships with countries that are committed to take charge of their own development. During his trip to Ghana, President Obama said: “The future of Africa depends on Africans.” And he urged them to “take control of their destiny and to undertake changes from the bottom up.” A strong example of this vision is how the Government of Senegal has worked to help the Senegalese people lift themselves out of poverty. And to that end, through the Compact between our two governments we have improved:
- Access to international and domestic markets through the asphalting of 291 kilometers of roads, and another 80 kilometers that will be completed by the Government of Senegal.
- Access to irrigated water in all seasons of the year through the construction or rehabilitation of 245 km of drainage and irrigation canals. The construction of a brand new, 450 hectare irrigated perimeter in Ngalenka.
- Access to increased economic opportunity through business training and the financing of more than 1,000 micro-projects in the Senegal River Valley and the Casamance.
- Access to legal land rights by incorporating 10,000 plots into municipal land information systems and formalizing the land rights of more than 8,600 households. Increased land security will enable farmers to have the confidence to invest more securely in their land; and
- Access to free and peaceful land-use by avoiding and resolving conflicts through the establishment of nine Land Conflict Management Committees and the training of another 40 Land Commissions. These committees and commissions will apply transparent and fair criteria in the distribution and allocation of land in irrigation zones.
As a result of these investments, Senegalese will increase their household incomes. And through this increased incomes, they will have better living conditions for themselves and their families now and in the future. It is a great honor for the U.S. Government to contribute to this remarkable evolution that will increase economic access to those who need it most.
I am looking forward to today’s exchange. I want to hear about the Compact results our governments have achieved together. I would especially like to hear your stories and the positive impact anticipated for beneficiaries and their families.
While today we come together to celebrate the end of the Compact one final time, we also know that this is but one step along the path of economic growth for the people of Senegal. There is still work to be done to sustain these impressive Compact results, but this morning we celebrate the millions of Senegalese who have and will benefit from the Compact.