MASERU — The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) board of directors has selected Lesotho as eligible to develop a proposal for a new compact after completion of over US$362.5 million (over M3 billion) MCC compact in September.
The MCC selected Lesotho together with five other countries to continue developing compacts and two countries to continue developing threshold programs at its quarterly meeting last week in Washington.
According to a press release dated December 10, the board selected Lesotho because it has consistently demonstrated a clear commitment to democratic governance and sound policies.
It said a new compact with Lesotho offers MCC the opportunity to have a significant impact on reducing poverty and creating economic growth in the country.
“Throughout the development and implementation of its first compact, Lesotho has been a strong MCC partner,” MCC Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Yohannes said.
“We look forward to continuing this strong partnership and helping the Basotho people create a more prosperous future,” he said.
The five-year compact that ended in September helped to expand water supply for household and industrial use, strengthened the country’s health care system and removed barriers to foreign and local private sector investment.
The government of Lesotho committed over M500 million of its own money to complete unfinished construction and fund complementary investments.
Through the compact, MCC also supported the passage of landmark legislation that empowered Basotho women by ending the second-class status of married women and granting spouses equal rights.
The board reselected Ghana, Liberia, Morocco, Niger, and Tanzania as eligible to continue development of their respective compact proposals.
The Millennium Challenge Account Lesotho MMC compact projects implementing agency, Sophia Mohapi, said it was the prerogative of Lesotho government to say what projects to prioritise.
She said the MCA is just an implementing agency on behalf of government.
The principal secretary in the Ministry of Development Planning, Lerotholi Pheko, hailed Lesotho’s eligibility as a good development.
Pheko however could not say what projects the coalition government intends to submit in its proposal for funding as the draft is still at the Prime Minister’s Office.