Back In MCC Grid Bigly -Good Governance Performance Pays Off

MONROVIA – The gloom and doom which fogged over the early years of the George Weah administration—though not of its own making—clawed away many political and economic dividends for the administration. Two biting effects stand out–the loss of critical bi-electoral battles to its opposition, and the offloading of the country from the lucrative US-supplied Millennium Challenge Compact, a US$500 million assistance package that got truncated due to early foggy governance environment. All indications are that as the gloom of poor economic realities gives way to the bright sunshine of good governance and transparency practices, Liberia is back on the grid, except that it was not one of the very few of the 66 countries that have obtained passing grades to get on. The Analyst reports.         

 Once again, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has released its scorecard for fiscal year 2022. This is a key component in US United States Government’s annual competitive selection process that determines which countries will receive MCC development funds.

Liberia is said to have passed this year’s scorecard with 12/20 indicators that many pundits believe is historic since the country has been facing the MCC examination.

The annual scorecard of the United States Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) was published on November 3, 2022. It normally measures a country’s commitment to just and democratic governance, investing in its people, and economic freedom.

The indicators measure a countries’ broad policy framework for encouraging poverty reduction through economic growth. A country needs to pass 10 out of 20 indicators to pass the scorecard.

For Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23), Liberia passed 12 out of 20 indicators – the most indicators passed by Liberia ever since MCC began publishing the scorecard in 2008. 

According to indicators spotted by The Analyst, Liberia’s tremendous improvement in the scorecard is driven by a number of factors: Liberia improved inflation from a high of 29% in 2020 to 7.8% in the new scorecard; Liberia received 100% on the MCC new indicator “Employment Opportunity”, which measures a country’s commitment to ending forced labor, preventing employment discrimination, and protecting the rights of workers and people with disabilities; for only the second time since 2008, Liberia passed the “Rule of Law” indicator, driven by the unrelenting efforts of Liberia in the fight against Human Trafficking.

Furthermore, Liberia continues its strong performance on the Democratic rights indicators, including “Control of Corruption”.  This also includes the country’s continued high performance on “Political Rights” where Liberia has a 88% score, indicating Liberia is committed to free and fair elections, the rights of political parties, and the participation of all in the political process.

Again, after challenges with Trade Policy, Liberia once again passed the Trade Policy Indicator with a 74% score. 

Liberia’s FY23 Scorecard indicates that the country is exceeding the MCC requirements and committed to democratic governance and poverty reduction.

US Ambassador Notifies FM Tweah

In what appeared to be his elation about the MCC results on Liberia, the United States Embassy near Monrovia broke the news to Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Jr.

In message, Ambassador Michael McCarthy said, “Liberia has passed its MCC scorecard and is therefore eligible to be considered for a compact. Congratulations!

He however was quick to state that “While this is great news, I also want to caution that it doesn’t mean that Liberia will receive a compact. There are a total of 66 eligible countries this year, and typically only a small handful get selected for compacts”.

Without stating when and how the tangible dividend of Liberia passing of the scorecard would be, Ambassador McCarthy said: “In selecting countries as eligible for a subsequent compact, the Board will consider, among other factors: the country’s policy performance over time using the standard indicator methodology; the opportunity to reduce poverty and generate economic growth in the country; the availability of funds; and the country’s performance implementing its previous compact, including evidence of a commitment to further reform.”

He continued: “The Board will do so by considering the nature of the country partnership with MCC, the degree to which the country has demonstrated a commitment and capacity to achieve program results, and the degree to which the country has implemented its previous or existing compact in accordance with MCC’s policies and standards.  In addition, countries often must pass the scorecard for multiple years before being selected, and this is the first time Liberia has passed in several years.”

“Nevertheless,” the US diplomat said, “passing the scorecard is good news and we will let you know if Liberia is chosen for a compact next month.”

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