Tanzania and US governments yesterday signed a joint development initiative program with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) aimed at increasing investment projects in the energy sector, water and improvement of rural roads in the country.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is an entity of the US government that represents an innovative approach to foreign assistance delivering substantial new resources to a carefully selected group of poor countries to support development and poverty reduction. The MCC was created by former US President George W. Bush in March 2002, supervised by a Board of Directors composed of Cabinet level officers and representatives of civil society and the private sector.
“The MCC offers a new commitment to fighting poverty through economic growth by partnering with developing countries that take steps to govern well, including fighting corruption, maintain sound economic policies, and invest in education and health,” a US embassy statement noted.
Under the development initiative, the US government has granted $ 698 million (Sh. 997 billion) to help the Tanzania government to spearhead development initiatives of the three main sectors of the national economy.
Signing the statement of agreement yesterday, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda said that there is need to increase rural development projects in order to increase the country’s social and economic development.
He said that the signing is an affirmation for the continued agreement of the interest to implement the Joint Country Action Plan under the partnership for growth which was signed in February this year.
Based on a rigorous joint analysis to identify key constraints to economic growth, the two countries have agreed to mutually address the three binding constraints to broad-based economic growth.
In order to enhance bilateral relations between the two countries, the two governments signed an earlier statement of agreement known as US-Tanzania partnership for growth, a joint statement of principles imposing a firm economic foundation in a bid to ward off economic obstacles besetting the local economy.
Premier Pinda said this aid will enable the government to realize another phase in implementing development initiatives on the basis of steps taken with a view to clearing off obstacles already identified.
The signed statement is a joint agreement between the two governments which would ensure the implementation of the earlier agreement, he stated.
As part of that agreement, the program will develop another initiative which will come up with the development of agriculture whereby the government will also see to it that reforms in the agricultural sector create an incentive for private sector investment to increase food production in the country.
Economic researchers in the country have occasionally pointed out that prime obstacles which stand as drawbacks to rapid growth of the country’s economy relate to insufficiency of electricity and the poor state of rural road infrastructure.
At the signing ceremony, US Deputy National Security Affairs Advisor Michael Froman who led a delegation of 11 people congratulated the government for reaching the joint action plan.
“This new partnership solidifies US President Barack Obama’s policy on global development and Sub-Saharan Africa and signifies our enhanced bilateral relationship with Tanzania,” he said noting that it creates an approach beyond traditional aid.
Earlier the delegation accompanied by the current US Ambassador accredited in the country Alfonso E. Lenhardt visited President Jakaya Kikwete at the State House and exchanged views on important matters relating to existing relations between the two countries.