By: Sylvanus Blake- Assistant PRO, ACC
The 2022 Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) scorecard has been released and as usual in the middle of the high stakes, it is a very positive result, especially for the Nation’s Anti-Corruption campaign. Sierra Leone has continued to consolidate and improve her achievements by passing 11 out of the 20 indicators with a very high score of 79% in the mandatory Control of Corruption indicator, despite the well-known teething troubles faced by the world in 2022 and the peculiar challenges confronting Sierra Leone. The 2022 Control of Corruption score epitomizes the mammoth efforts sustainably invested in the crusade against corruption. By this score, Sierra Leone has set new unmatchable record by most of her peers, of five unbroken years that the country has continued to admirably score very high in the mandatory indicator above her peers like Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea, Egypt, Mali to name but a few. Sierra Leone has continued to distinguish herself as a top 10 performer in her income category, one of the best performers in Africa and the best performer in the West Africa Sub-Region.
The mandatory Control of Corruption indicator is one of the 20 indicators monitored by the MCC, out of which countries are required to pass at least 10, in order to qualify for the MCC Compact, a five years hefty grant from the United States Government.
Sierra Leone as a developing country has been part of the MCC process since the 2004 Financial Year Scorecard in which it scored a maiden pass mark of 51% in the mandatory Control of Corruption indicator, and repeated that pass in 2005 with a score of 52%. Since then, it only again scored average pass marks in 2012, 2013, and 2017 with an unchanging 53% in all three years. In each of the other ten (10) years after the above five stated years, Sierra Leone failed the mandatory control of Corruption indicator up until 2018 with its lowest fail score being 15% in 2008. This abysmal situation did not allow for the country to qualify for the Compact Grant. Sierra Leone was, however, selected for the threshold program, which is a $:44.4 million grant in 2015, as she failed to pass the mandatory Control of Corruption indicator, the same year our neighbor, Liberia was selected for the compact and given a $257 million grant to help in her post-Ebola development. The threshold programs had been successfully implemented and completed in 2019.
In November 2020, Sierra Leone was unanimously selected for the Compact Grant by the MCC Board of Directors, after passing the mandatory Control of Corruption and more than 10 other indicators out of the 20 for the first time in three consistent years; 2018-71%, 2019- 79% and 2020-81%. In 2019, Mozambique was selected for the Compact, and Kenya which did not do well was only selected for the Threshold program.
This latest released MCC scorecard, which has seen Sierra Leone pass 11 of the 20 indicators, with an A (79%) score in the mandatory Control of Indicator has made it the fifth year, back-to-back, that Sierra Leone has continued to do awesomely well in this highly distinguished, respected and globally accepted anti-graft monitoring tool. This without any doubt is another testament that what is happening here in this small but resilient and brave nation is not going without notice. We have not won the war against corruption, but we have been able to couch a respectable aura around and about us as a serious nation in the fight against corruption. As and when these multi-dimensional gains in all assessments are sustained and improved, Sierra Leone’s disposition as a model Anti-Corruption Champion will continue to be distinguished further.
The efforts and energies exerted in the accountability and transparency campaign in Sierra Leone, spearheaded by the ACC and stoutly supported by His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio, the Government and people of Sierra Leone, partner MDAs and accountability institutions such as, the Audit Service, National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA), the Independent Procurement Regulating Panel (IPRP), Civil Society, the Media, etc, are being rated positively. The recovery of over Le: 35 Billion (0ld) Leones of stolen wealth and assets (house and vehicles), the strong anti-corruption policies and legal reforms, the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2019-2023, the huge and expansive public education and prevention work, the establishment of the Special Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court, partnerships with state and non-state actors in the accountability space, etc, in the past four years since 2018, are paying off tremendously.
In the words of Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., the ACC Czar; “we shall continue the fight against corruption as if we were losing”. This means that we shall not and will never be complacent on these gains. The fight against corruption must continue. But as a people, we should pat ourselves on the back and say we have done well. Congratulations Sierra Leone.
Things to Know about the MCC Process
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is an innovative and independent U.S. foreign assistance Agency that is helping lead the fight against global poverty. Created by the U.S. Congress in January 2004 with strong bipartisan support, MCC has changed the conversation on how best to deliver smart U.S. foreign assistance by focusing on good policies, country ownership, and results. MCC provides time-limited grants promoting economic growth, reducing poverty, and strengthening institutions. These investments not only support stability and prosperity in partner countries but also enhance American interests.
The MCC is distinct, as it forms partnerships with developing countries that are committed to good governance, economic freedom, and investing in their citizens, the three thematic areas that house the 20 indicators. MCC is a prime example of smart U.S. Government assistance in action, benefiting both developing countries and American taxpayers through; by the MCC’s Board, which examines a country’s performance on 20 independent and transparent policy indicators and selects countries based on policy performance, , which requires selected countries to identify their priorities for achieving sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction and develop their MCC proposals in broad consultation within their society, ,wherein successfully selected country establishes alocal accountable entity to manage and oversee all aspects of implementation and a stout to ensuring that the American people are getting a good return on their support.
MCC employs technically rigorous, systematic, and transparent methods of projecting, tracking, and evaluating the impacts of its programs. There are three primary types of MCC grants; the , which is ahuge, five-year multi-million dollar grants for selected countries that meet MCC’s eligibility criteria, , grants that promote cross-border economic integration, and increase regional trade and collaboration and the , which are smaller grants focused on policy and institutional reform in selected countries that come close to passing MCC’s eligibility criteria and show a firm commitment to improving their policy performance
What is MCC achieving?
MCC projects tackle some of the most pressing challenges people face in developing countries, like supplying electricity so businesses can operate and students can study after dark; providing clean drinking water so women don’t have to walk long distances, sometimes at great personal risk to get water for their families, and building roads so farmers can get their goods to market and children can get to school. MCC has invested more than $14 Billion in that support country-led projects in areas as stated above since its commencement.