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Monday, May 27, 2024

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    The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact 2, also known as Malawi Transport and Land Compact, is now operational with actual implementation of the various projects to commence soon.

    This follows the formal inauguration of the US $350 million (about K612 billion) second compact at a ceremony held in Dallas, Texas. The launch was co-presided over by the Malawi Leader and Ms. Alice Albright, MCC Chief Executive Officer.

    President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera conveyed gratitude to the American people for the financial support under the MCC Compact 2, acknowledging that it will help improve road infrastructure and subsequent facilitation of transportation of farm produce to the markets from various farms in the rural areas. He argued that high transport costs from farm to markets inhibits development of the rural economy.

    “With poor rural road infrastructure, we see extremely high prices of farm-to-market transport and in some cases, significant market power of transporters and agro-processors.

    “These prices potentially inhibit the development of Malawi’s rural economy and stymie structural transformation by preventing the rural to urban movement of labor, and diversified production of cash crops,” said Chakwera.

    The Malawi leader couldn’t hide his excitement that his administration has managed to satisfy all the conditions attached to the accessibility of the Compact 2, and these included the legislative and administrative reforms and actions.

    Chakwera also announced that, apart from the launch in the Texas, MCA Malawi will host a replica inauguration in Malawi to be attended by the MCC Chief Executive Officer Ms. Albright on May 30, 2024.

    On her part, Albright labelled the multi-million-dollar grant for infrastructure and land policy reforms as a significant investment in the people of Malawi.

    “We are proud of our strong, enduring partnership with the people of Malawi and believe this compact will play a crucial role in Malawi’s economic development,” said Albright.

    The MCC Compact 2 encompasses three distinct projects with individual funding from the US$350 million.

    Funded to the tune of US$244 million, the first project is aimed at reducing travel time and costs for smallholder farmers through the improvement of targeted roads in selected transport corridors.

    There are four corridor roads under this project and these are; upgrading of the 67km stretch from Chikwawa (Rumphi) to Euthini (Mzimba), 88 km road from Mkanda (Mchinji) to Mwase/Linga (Kasungu), 53kms road from from Chileka to Chigwirizano in Lilongwe, and the 79km-stretch from Chamtulo in Mangochi to Mkutumula in Ntcheu.

    The second project, dubbed ‘Land Project’ funded to the tune of US$44 million seeks to improve land administration services in our main land institutions. Thus, the compact will build Malawi’s capacity in land management reforms to maximize land revenue both for rural farmers and the national economy.

    The American Catalyst Facility for Development Project, funded to the tune of US$8.5 million will support the private sector in undertaking feasibility and other studies prior to the grant recipient organizations investing in their chosen projects.

    The MCA, a US Government agency, is investing in Malawi’s transportation and land sectors to enhance rural market access, improve land administration and promote inclusive economic growth.

    Malawi’s longstanding partnership with the MCC, dating back to 2005, has seen commendable progress in previous compact programmes and policy areas.

    The new compact will prioritise the Accelerated Growth Corridors Project (AGC) to reduce transport costs in rural areas and enhance land productivity, alongside the American Catalyst Facility for Development Project to facilitate private sector engagement.


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