The Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government entity, has signed a five-year compact with the government of Namibia. The compact was signed on July 28th by Professor Peter Katjavivi, Director General of Namibia's National Planning Commission and Mr. Rodney Bent, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation. The signing was witnessed by Namibia's Prime Minister the Honorable Nahas Angula and the U.S. Ambassador to Namibia, H.E. Dennise Mathieu.
The compact provides more than three-hundred-million dollars in economic assistance to Namibia over five years. Its aim is to help strengthen access to and quality of Namibia's education system, increase productivity of farm enterprises in communal rural areas and promote growth in the country's tourism industry. "We are delighted to join the league of Millennium Challenge Account Compact countries," said Professor Katjavivi. "The MCC objective of reducing poverty through economic growth was worked into a manageable and sustainable program, closely linked to existing development efforts, which we believe will stand the test of implementation," he said.
MCC Deputy CEO Bent said, the program demonstrates Namibia's will to improve the lives of its citizens and create a foundation for sustainable growth. The compact will improve the education sector's effectiveness through broader access to vocational training, upgrading of infrastructure and equipment in educational facilities, and acquisition of textbooks for grades five through twelve. It will enhance the economic performance of the agricultural sector by supporting the construction of five veterinary centers and the tagging of one million cattle in high volume, under-served livestock areas. It will also introduce community-based rangeland management practices and advance the business capacity of the Namibian natural products industry.
Finally, the compact will increase incomes and create employment opportunities through strategic investments in Namibia's ecotourism sector, Etosha National Park and marketing of Namibian tourism.
Since its inception in 2004, the Millennium Challenge Corporation has signed compacts totaling over six-billion dollars with Madagascar, Cape Verde, Honduras, Nicaragua, Georgia, Armenia, Vanuatu, Benin, Ghana, Mali, El Salvador, Mozambique, Lesotho, Morocco, Mongolia, Tanzania, Burkina Faso and now Namibia.