Signing Ceremony for Millennium Challenge Corporation's Compact with the Republic of Mali
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Benjamin Franklin Room
November 13, 2006
(9:00 a.m. EST)
AMBASSADOR DANILOVICH: Ambassador McCulley, USAID Deputy Administrator James Kunder, Director Ken Hackett from the board
of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, ladies and gentleman, it is my great pleasure to welcome you here today to
witness the signing of the compact between the Republic of Mali and the Millennium Challenge Corporation. We are
especially delighted to welcome the delegation from Mali.
To those who worked so diligently to bring this compact to fruition, Moussa Ouattara from MCC Mali and Kyeh Kim from MCC
together with your teams, we thank you, and the people of Mali will certainly thank you.
The mission of the Millennium Challenge Corporation is to reduce poverty to economic growth. We work with countries
committed to and accountable for their own political, economic and social development. To help them address their
specific barriers to poverty reduction and economic growth, we sign compacts with eligible partner countries for
sizeable grants aimed at making a transformative and sustainable difference. We believe the MCC Mali compact, our tenth
to date, will do just that.
The results we envisage through the $461 million compact between Mali and the MCC will improve the standards of living
of Malians by providing increased access to national, regional and international markets and trade as well as expanding
and diversifying agricultural production and the industrial productivity of small and medium-sized enterprises. This
will be accomplished through three distinct compact components.
The first project amounts to $90 million and involves air site and land site infrastructure improvements at the Bamako
Airport. It provides ways to strengthen the effective management, operations and maintenance of the airport's facilities
over the long term. As a landlocked country, the Bamako Airport is Mali's gateway to regional and international trade.
Improving it significantly contributes to Mali's economic growth by reducing the time and costs of transporting
passengers and exporting products stimulating new tourism and creating jobs and businesses to service increased cargo
and passenger traffic.
The second component of the compact is a $94 million investment in an industrial park near the airport. This park will
help meet the demand for industrial land by Mali's growing industrial sector, particularly businesses engaged in
agro-processing. To stimulate rural growth in Mali, the third and largest component is the $235 million Alatona
irrigation project. The Alatona zone is one of the poorest in central Mali. By developing 16,000 acres of irrigable
agricultural land, the project will lead to increased agricultural innovation and productivity, improve land tenure
security, serve as a catalyst for the transformational and commercialization of Mali's family farms and help achieve
national food security.
Through this compact, 40,000 Malian farmers and laborers, as well as 100,000 school age children and their family
members will have greater access to education, health services and markets. Over 50,000 workers will have formal
employment because of improved opportunities in manufacturing and trade.
We congratulate you, President Toure, your team and all Malians for making the bold steps to create this action plan for
Mali's development. Achieving it will transform your country and create unprecedented opportunities for reducing poverty
and sustaining economic growth.
Mali represents the hopes and aspirations of millions of the African continent and around the world who yearn for
freedom and prosperity. Mali is a model of how our country can maximize its assets and provide opportunities for its
Your country's current chairmanship of the Community of Democracies, a coalition of over 120 nations that seek to
strengthen democracy across the globe, is a testament to your commitment to advancing the mutual goals of democracy and
Mali's focus and chosen them for the 2007 Community of Democracies' ministerial in Bamako is democracy and development.
And we acknowledge the work of Under Secretary of State and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky, who is with us today, is
doing in this area. Democracy and development are inseparably linked. Democracy can yield a range of tangible benefits
to the people of Africa by encouraging stability and good governance, which are essential for economic prosperity. Your
compact with the MCC will achieve these goals. It is your vision, your perseverance and your diligence that will turn
the promise of poverty reduction to economic growth into reality. We applaud your tremendous efforts to reach this day
and wish you and your people, Mr. President, continued success in moving forward.
Thank you very much. (Applause.) It is now my great pleasure to invite the Chairman of MCC's board, Secretary Rice, to
come to the podium. Secretary Rice.
SECRETARY RICE: Thank you. Good morning. I am honored to welcome our distinguished guests from Mali, including Your
Excellency President Toure, Foreign Minister Ouane, Ambassador Diop and other distinguished members of the Malian
delegation. I would like to welcome all of you to the State Department, and thank you for joining us on this really
important day of celebration.
It is also a pleasure to welcome here today members of the MCCC board, CEO Ambassador Danilovich and Ken Hackett, who is
the President of Catholic Relief Services and a real stalwart for us on the MC board. Thank you for being here. Our
Ambassador to the Republic of Mali is here, Terence McCulley, and of course James Kunder, who is the USAID Acting Deputy
Administrator. There are other distinguished guests here, too numerous to mention, but thank you for joining us in this
Mali and the United States share a strong and enduring friendship, and with the signing today of a $461 Millennium
Challenge compact we are strengthening our ties considerably. This compact is one of the largest of the ten agreements
that the MCCC has concluded and it marks a great achievement both for the United States but most importantly for the
government and people of Mali.
The compact that we sign today with Mali embodies our concept of transformational diplomacy and our commitment to
democracy and development. Rather than doing for others, we are helping others to do for themselves. Rather than
paternalism, we are building a partnership, a partnership to reduce poverty and to achieve sustainable economic growth.
Through this compact, the Millennium Challenge Corporation is again demonstrating President Bush's bold vision for a new
transformative approach to U.S. foreign assistance, one that empowers countries to take an active role in their own
President Bush created the Millennium Challenge Account initiative to help developing nations access and benefit from
the opportunities of the global marketplace. Through this initiative, the Millennium Challenge Corporation rewards those
countries that are demonstrating their commitment to ruling justly, to advancing economic freedom and to investing in
And if I may just say a word here about you, President Toure. You are known as someone who is fundamentally committed to
good governance and fundamentally committed to democracy. Thank you for that commitment. It is a wonderful example for
the entire continent and for the world. (Applause.)
At the center of the new compact with Mali is a program to fight poverty and create jobs that has been completely
envisioned, designed and developed by Malians and for Malians. Specifically, this program will help the men and women to
improve of Mali, to improve the productivity of their family farms and to generate opportunities for economic growth by
expanding the Bamako International Airport and creating a nearby industrial park. We applaud the Government of Mali for
its leadership, its resolve and its commitment to creating what I hope will be a brighter future for its citizens.
I also want to congratulate the MCC and its professional staff, led by Ambassador Danilovich. It takes a huge amount of
work to prepare these compacts because they are just that -- firm agreements between people and countries to accomplish
specific measurable goals within a certain length of time. In this case, over the next five years. So I thank you and
the MCC staff, Ambassador Danilovich, for your work.
The tremendous results expected from our compact with Mali will serve as the ultimate measure of our success. By taking
responsibility for their country's development, Malians are building a long lasting capacity to spur their country's
growth, to create economic opportunities and to build a future of hope for their children. We look forward to continuing
our strong partnership with Mali as we implement this compact. Thank you very much, President Toure. (Applause.)
AMBASSADOR DANILOVICH: The Secretary of State must leave the occasion. And I'd like to introduce President Toure,
PRESIDENT TOURE: (Via interpreter) Excellencies, Madame Secretary of State, Ministers, ladies and gentlemen, members of
the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Mr. -- the CEO of the MCC, Honorable Representative of
North Dakota, Your Excellency Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Excellencies, Dean of the
Diplomatic Corps, Your Excellency Mr. -- the Ambassador of the United States in Mali, Your Excellency Ambassador of Mali
to the United States, Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, ambassadors, dear countrymen and friends of Mali,
honorable guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I would like first of all, express on behalf of the people and the Government of the Republic of Mali, my deepest
gratitude to President Bush and to the American Congress and to all U.S. officials for the signing ceremony of the
compact that will give my country access to the resources of the Millennium Challenge Account. I am also happy to be
able to renew my congratulations to Madame Secretary Rice and to say how proud we Africans are to see her lead the
diplomacy of a great country with such competence and skill, the diplomacy of her country. Madame Secretary, I wish you
great success as you move forward in the difficult challenges you face around the world. So you should understand how
deep is my joy and my pride to be before you on this podium today to celebrate this important event that will forever
mark the cooperation between the United States and Mali.
Indeed through this ceremony we are actually commemorating 46 years of friendship and a fruitful partnership between our
two countries. I recall that the United States was the second country to recognize the young Republic of Mali the day
after its independence on September 22, 1960 and to continually support Mali through all these years in many ways, in
all areas of public life, economic, socially, culturally, bilaterally as well as multilaterally.
Some of the most remote areas of Mali have benefited from USAID projects or from support from the Peace Corps made up of
young American volunteers who profoundly impressed our people through their generousness and when they came back to the
United States they brought back a little bit of Mali with them. I would like to express here and now all the
appreciation of the people of Mali for all these expressions of consideration and friendship from the United States.
Ladies and gentlemen, today we are also celebrating through this ceremony a new vision of development assistance, a
vision to which we completely subscribe. As you all know, developing countries have suffered from the burden of foreign
debt for a very long time. And sometimes debt resources were borrowed to finance projects chosen by the donors and whose
impact on the economic development of the beneficiary countries was oftentimes disastrous. This is why I believe that
the Millennium Challenge Account is a good example of innovative financing. It creates competition amongst countries
following specific performance criteria with broadly accepted indicators. Indeed through massive investments in key
economic sectors with clear benefits, identified by the recipient themselves, MCA can truly and substantially promote
growth and reduce poverty.
The MCA is also and above all the acknowledgement of our own efforts. In a nutshell, it is the reward for good
governance as Secretary Rice said quite well. The people of Mali deserve credit having made enormous sacrifices for
advancing democracy in a very difficult environment and oftentimes very demanding. But we do share the values of
democracy promoted by the United States and the democracies of world and we are members of the Community of Democracies
which encompasses over one hundred countries in the world, which is why as our position of Chairman of the Community of
Democracies we placed our tenure under the banner of Democracy and Development because we think that the two ideas are
Ladies and gentlemen, today we celebrate finally the compact itself. Since its projects were chosen and developed by
Malians themselves, endorsed through a long process of consultation by all socioeconomic and professional groups. So
these projects are today an enormous source of hope for our country. Infrastructure projects from the Niger River
Authority, such as the Alatona irrigation project, or the renovation of an industrial park near the airport -- all these
components will clearly transform Mali's economy. These projects will lead to improvements in the lives of hundreds of
thousands of Malians through the -- and it'll first of all create massive jobs, especially for young people. It will
increase agricultural production to ensure food security and it will open the country to word markets. It will
strengthen our industrial base and it will add value to our natural resources.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the moment for me to thank the Congress and the Administration, civil society and all of
those who believed in the right choices and helped us throughout this process. I would like to congratulate also MCA
Mali, their colleagues of the MCC, the U.S. Embassy in Mali and the Ambassador himself, the Embassy and the Ambassador
of Mali to Washington, as well as the whole team that worked on this issue, first and foremost the Prime Minister in
partnership with the entire cabinet, the civil society and private sector.
I would be remiss if I failed to express my appreciation of the people of Mali to President George Bush, to Madame
Secretary Rice and to the entire U.S. Administration for this support of historical proportions. During the next phase,
which is soon to begin, the Millennium Challenge Corporation will find in the Government of Mali all the necessary
availability, the diligence and full transparency in the implementation of the projects chosen for this compact, and
this in full transparency. I will be personally watching over that.
Thank you very much for your very kind attention. (Applause.)
(The compact was signed.)
Released on November 13, 2006