MCC to Push $3 Billion in Africa Contracts

More than $3 billion in contracting opportunities are available this year as part of Millennium Challenge Corp. compacts in Africa, an MCC official said Monday.

Carol Hessler, managing director for infrastructure and environmental and social assessment, told Devex that the majority of these contracts, totaling $3.1 billion, are for infrastructure improvement projects. Contracting opportunities are available in countries such as Burkina Faso, Ghana, Lesotho, Mali, Mozambique and Tanzania, in road construction, energy, water, irrigation, transportation and other areas.

MCC is hosting a meeting at its headquarters on Tuesday, March 31, to inform interested organizations about the business opportunities and provide information on the way MCC and compact countries collaborate. Because 11 of MCC's compact countries are in Africa, the government corporation wants to spread the word about the work available there.

"All we're trying to do is let potential groups of bidders know who we are and that we're out there," Hessler said. "We want people to know how we operate."

MCC does not participate in the process of hiring contractors, Hessler said. Instead, it's up to a partner country to make those decisions - although MCC does impose certain rules which contractors are required to meet. (Hessler mentioned "financial strength" and "a track record of doing similar contracts" among the key factors.)

"The process in terms of hiring these contractors is handled by partner countries," Hessler told Devex. "That doesn't mean we can't help by letting the industry know what opportunities are out there."

Organizations from all over the world are eligible for contracts from MCC partner countries, Hessler noted.

At Tuesday's event, MCC also hopes to explain the payment process to stakeholders. MCC contracts are paid for by the U.S. Treasury, not by a partner country. In fact, compact countries never handle payment to contractors, according to Hessler.

MCC procurement specialists will attend the meeting in addition to members of the Business Council for International Understanding, Development Finance International and Sheladia Associates. Those interested in attending may register on the MCC Web site.

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    David Francis

    David is a Washington-based journalist and former Devex staffer who spearheaded Devex's "Obama's Foreign Aid Reform" blog. He has written for the Christian Science Monitor, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, SportsIllustrated.com, San Francisco Chronicle, Foreign Policy magazine, and the Washington Monthly. David holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and a graduate degree from Georgetown University.