The Millennium Challenge Account In Africa: Testimony Before the House Committee On Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health

December 23, 2009

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From Dr. Radelet's testimony:

"This month the Millennium Challenge Account is three and a half years old. Conceived and announced by President Bush in 2002, the MCA was formally established in January 2004. In my testimony today I will begin by reflecting upon the genesis of the MCA, what it has accomplished to date, how it fits into the broader context of U.S. foreign assistance. I will then examine three common critiques of the MCA that I believe are off-base: that it selects the wrong countries, it focuses on the wrong substantive areas, and that it cannot spend the funds that have already been appropriated. I will then turn to three critiques that have more merit: that the pace of implementation has been too slow, that it should focus on low-income countries and not middle income countries, and that the restriction limiting countries to one five-year compact slows progress and adds to program complexity. I will conclude by reflecting on what more needs to be done to realize the MCC's potential for bringing hope and prosperity to the world's poorest well-governed countries, many of which are in Africa."

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