Liberia: MCC and Government recognize closeout of U.S.$257 million Compact, boosting access to power and economic growth
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Millennium Challenge Account Liberia (MCA-L) marked the successful closeout of the $257 million MCC Liberia Compact which aimed to address limited access to reliable and affordable electricity in the country and poor-quality road infrastructure.
The compact funded the rehabilitation of Liberia’s largest power source, the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant, supported the creation of an independent energy sector regulator, developed a training program for technicians in the electricity sector, supported improved delivery of electricity services by the Liberia Electricity Company, and established a data-driven road maintenance system.
MCC programs are designed with partner countries to reduce poverty by addressing the binding constraints to economic growth. Analysis by MCC and the Government of Liberia showed that reliable access to power is a critical element to reduce poverty, strengthen economic growth, and improve living standards. As of compact development, less than 4% of Liberians were connected to the electricity grid. Furthermore, on-grid electricity sold in Monrovia was one of the largest operating expenses for businesses in Liberia selling at over $0.50 per kWh. With the rehabilitation and expansion of the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant and other system improvements, it became possible to reduce that cost to $0.35 per kWh.
The MCC Liberia Compact was a critical step for the country’s economic growth and development. Today, access to the grid continues to expand, business owners can expand their services and increase their income, and 12% percent of Liberians are connected to the on-grid power supply, an increase of 70%.
“The United States and Liberia have had a substantial relationship for more than 150 years,” noted Kyeh Kim, Principal Deputy Vice President of Compact Operations at MCC. “MCC is proud of what we have achieved together and looks forward to seeing the positive economic impact of this investment for years to come. The Government of Liberia is well positioned to build upon this foundation and grow the benefits, ensuring a bright future for the Liberian people.”
“We remain grateful to the United States government and the American people for their generosity, guidance, and partnership during the development and implementation of the Liberia Compact,” offered Monie Captan, CEO of MCA-L. “It is now up to us to build on the progress we have achieved and to ensure these national assets continue to serve Liberians for decades to come. We remain committed to the high-standards of good governance and control of corruption so the Liberian economy will continue to expand, and the lives of Liberians continue to improve.”
Like development projects around the world, COVID-19 posed unique and significant challenges for the MCA-L team in the final year of compact work. Thanks to the excellent work of MCA-L and their dedicated partners the projects remained on track and have finished successfully, supporting the people of Liberia during a critical time of economic growth and recovery.
While January 20, 2021 marks the official end of the compact, MCC and MCA-L will transition into a closure period during which further celebrations are scheduled to take place.