Two country staff from the United States of America-based Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) have arrived in Malawi to support the implementation of the $350.7 million (about K126.2 billion) energy grant by the US Government to Malawi.
The US Embassy in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, said on Wednesday that Oliver Pierson, resident country director, and Jenner Edelman, deputy resident country director, are in Malawi and have already begun their assignments to support the implementation of MCC compact agreement between US and Malawi.
Pierson and Edelman’s arrival, according to the US Embassy statement, will ensure a rapid start to implementation of the five-year compact, which was originally signed in April 2011.
The two will be working directly with the Government of Malawi entity that will implement the compact, the Millennium Challenge Account Malawi (MCA-M), according to the statement.
“In this capacity, they will provide support and oversight of Compact Implementation tasks to MCA-M, help train MCA-M staff in how to work within the MCC model for development, and help develop systems and procedures for the MCA-M team, which is currently being formed,” it said.
The two staff, says the statement, bring ‘substantial’ MCC experience with them to their new jobs in Malawi, having worked to support the implementation of the Namibia and Morocco Compacts, respectively.
The US Embassy statement also observes that the experience amassed by the two will be instrumental in helping the Malawi Government establish the MCA-M and meet the remaining requirements for the compact to enter into force.
The remaining requirements include the development of semi-annual benchmarks for reform in the energy sector, a plan for a phased approach to tariff reform, and allocation of funding for a turnaround facility for the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom).
The compact is a single sector, five-year development programme which is designed to scale up income levels and reduce poverty by revamping Malawi’s power sector and improving the availability, reliability and quality of the power supply.