The United States Government has intervened to help the government of Sierra Leone to improve on the infrastructure, build institutional capacity and improve governance in the water and electricity sectors.
On November 17, 2015, the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Republic of Sierra Leone signed a new $44 million partnership agreement at a ceremony at the Sierra Leone State House. MCC Vice President of Policy and Evaluation Beth Tritter joined U.S. Ambassador John Hoover, Chief of Staff to the President of Sierra Leone Mr. Saidu Conton Sesay, and Sierra Leone Minister of Finance and Economic Development Kaifala Marah. The $44.4 million grant – known as an MCC Threshold Program – will support policy reforms, build institutional capacity, and improve governance in the water and electricity sectors, with a focus on Freetown.
The program aims to create a foundation for the delivery of financially sustainable water and electricity services while limiting opportunities for corruption by establishing independent regulation, strengthening key institutions, and increasing transparency and accountability.
“For many years, our governments have worked together to promote peace, security and democracy in Sierra Leone,” Tritter said. “Today, we celebrate another step forward, a new partnership that will lay the groundwork for sustainable economic growth at a critical moment in Sierra Leone’s history.”
The partnership comes as the county emerges from the devastating Ebola outbreak and complements the U.S. Government’s recovery efforts. It also represents MCC’s latest contribution to Power Africa, following recent investments in Liberia and Benin. MCC’s Threshold Programs assist countries to become eligible for MCC’s larger grants – known as compacts – by supporting targeted policy and institutional reforms. Sierra Leone’s Threshold Program focuses on three key components: A Regulatory Strengthening Project that will build capacity at the newly formed Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission; a Water Sector Reform Project that aims to improve overall sector governance, performance, and accountability by building capacity at the Freetown water utility; and an Electricity Sector Reform Project that will help the Government of Sierra Leone operationalize a new framework and market structure for the country’s electricity sector.
The program was approved by MCC’s Board of Directors at its quarterly meeting in September.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an innovative and independent U.S. Government agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. Created by the U.S. Congress in January 2004, with strong bipartisan support, MCC provides time-limited grants and assistance to countries that demonstrate a commitment to good governance, investments in people and economic freedom. Learn more about MCC at http://www.mcc.gov