Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 December 2019:
After much criticisms over its failure to convince the US government that it has met the criteria for the award of a Millennium Challenge Compact, potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the government of Sierra Leone yesterday published this statement:
“Following Sierra Leone’s passing of the FY 2020 MCC Scorecard, a high-level Government delegation engaged key U.S. stakeholders on the gains that have been made in the implementation of the ongoing $44.4 million Threshold Program (THP).
“The MCC and other US Agencies acknowledged and commended Sierra Leone on its efforts on the MCC Scorecard and the progress made so far in the implementation of the THP.
“This year, seventeen (17) out of eighty (80) countries were eligible to be considered by the MCC Board for a new Compact. Sierra Leone, having passed eleven (11) out of twenty (20) indicators for the FY 2020 Scorecard was among the eligible countries.
“Its relentless efforts in the fight against corruption also saw Sierra Leone amongst the top ten (10) performing countries in the hard hurdle of Control of Corruption category. (Photo: Head of the Anti-Corruption – Francis Ben Kaifala).
“Notwithstanding efforts by Sierra Leone and other countries to qualify for the Compact, the MCC Board only selected one new Compact largely because the fiscal bandwidth for new selection this year was significantly limited given that MCC selected eight new Compacts last year, including the inaugural Regional Compact.
“As part of Government’s commitment to improve the quality of life of its people and in order to deepen and strengthen the bilateral relationship between our two countries, Government is keen to build on the gains that have been made in the Ruling Justly, Investing in People and Economic Freedom categories while redoubling its efforts in the fight against corruption and investing in human capital development, buttressed by private sector growth.
“Government remains committed to the partnership between Sierra Leone and the United States and is pleased to inform the general public that it will continue to strengthen the foundation for the viable and sustainable provision of water and electricity services across the country.”
Whether the Bio-led government can go on to make the necessary policy and ministerial administration changes in the next few weeks and months, in order to achieve the economic, political and social improvements in the country, remains to be seen.