The United States government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) country director for Malawi Joel Wiegert says the current political situation is insignificant to warrant immediate suspension of the MCC second compact.
Addressing the media on Tuesday in Lilongwe Wiegert said preparations for the second compact are ongoing and on track despite political situation in the country.
“We are closely monitoring how the political and governance environment unfolds. Rather than the day-to-day political events, the United States government looks at a medium to long-term performance of the political and governance indicators before making a decision,” said Wiegert.
He said so far, the US government is happy with the political and governance situation in Malawi where people are demonstrating freely without being barred and those involved in corruption are being arrested and prosecuted.
The MCC head said all things being equal, the commencement of the actual projects will resume in 2022 depending on thorough completion of preparatory processes.
Wiegert also revealed that Malawi’s preparations remain ahead of other nations that also qualified for the second compact.
His sentiments follow the visit of MCC officials in the country to discuss with the local implementation team through Malawi Millennium Development Trust (MMD) the state of preparedness of the compact.
The team is visiting the country from February 10 to 26, and is meeting government officials, civil society organisations, the private sector and development partners to appraise them of progress achieved this far.
Malawi qualified for the second compact after successfully implementing the first one on energy infrastructure and passed the US scorecard with 18 indicators out of 20.
Head of MMD, Dye Mawindo said the second compact will deal with access to land, land titling, rural roads infrastructure and produce market linkages.
Between now and November it is expected that the US and local team will finalise the design of the projects to maximise positive impact of the second compact.
Malawi’s first $350.7 million MCC compact was a single-sector programme designed to increase individual and business incomes and reduce poverty by improving the availability, reliability and quality of power supply.