Saturday, February 4, 2023

MCC’s Board Of Directors Adds Gambia Among Regional Partners

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Tasking It To Develop Grant Programs In Respect Of Next Stage Of “Qualifiers”

Alongside Senegal, Togo and Mauritania, The Gambia has been added to the list of countries for the Millenium Challenge Corporation’s Directors who Washington will be partnering with, within the region.

Although this can be described as a good deal, it is however, not yet a DONE DEAL.

The MCC is a process and there are different  stages that each of these countries has to go through, before   accessing  its  funds. Thus the very reason why words being used by the authorities in Washington,  are balanced within a given context.

Here it is not only about pure financial language or interpretation of what is monetary in our mindset or simply put in a package. MCC’s funds, goes beyond this! It is a combination of financial cum economic, diplomatic and political languages; the expertise in project analysis, grant writing and economic intelligence, all of which should ultimately put on the table, internationally convincing ideas and or projects, that can convince Washinton.

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We may have so many projects in store as we speak, but are all these projects acceptable at the level of MCC’s Corporate Directors in Washington DC?

Mark you Washington DC or the Washington belt way, is an active hub of global activities whose radars are never “dormant”!

They remain active in space and on earth and can remotely access anything, be it digital or human intelligence.

Therefore, what we must avoid is deriving things from existing data or plagiarise grants. Let us begin from scratch by associating all the variables within a genuine mindset that is guided by honesty and sincerity. Let the enhancement of the lives of our  citizens or the common good, remain center stage in any grant or project we put forward to Washington DC.

Whether we believe it or not, Washington can gather everything and anything needed or necessary, beyond what we can all imagine.  Their target is always for citizens of those nations that they are partnering with in the region, to access the resources without hurdles like corruption or any other hindrance. 

The authorities in Washington have to because they are also answerable to checks and balances of their own country, and what they use to get accurate or near accurate details while monitoring those projects are direct, indirect, remote and close feeders on every aspect, however minute these may be.

Washington pays attention to details when it comes to funding projects especially where the partnership is in one way or the other, linked to protecting America’s interest abroad.

And make no mistake about it, enhancing the lives of beneficiaries in this case Gambian citizens, is their prime target.

One word that will turn the “light off” by the MCC particularly in the minds of those  who will be monitoring these projects (if approved), is CORRUPTION! 

On the other hand and at this stage, I want to emphasise that my this piece of advice should not to be interpreted in the wrong way.

The funds are yet to be released.  So let no one create euphoria over this for now, lest we want to forget how the EU pledges were amplified and misconstrued!

We should be sensitising  our people to understand things when it is about funding, grants, loans, etc. The question that arises now is where are we at this point in time, as far the MCC?

In a nut shell it is like an interview. We have been shortlisted, and the next thing is for The Gambia to face the panelists with a convincing “cv” or “resume”, with achievements, and the latter will be embedded in what we will present as convincing grant for programs if you wish, or projects.

One son of The Gambia with a wealth of experience in this regard, was assigned to handle MCC’s programs in a nearby country. He happens to be the son of the former and first President of the Republic of The Gambia, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara. But he is said to have retired some two or three months ago per my sources.

Another Gambian who is familiar with the MCC is Ambassador Bai Mass Taal. Of course there are others around like former Ambassador and foreign minister Babacarr Blaise Jagne, with men like Dr Ebrima Sall, former head of Codesria in Dakar. 

MCC is a package for finance gurus, economists and diplomats which no one can debunk! 

A man like Abdoulie Baks Touray and former minister of finance Balla Gaye, are all familiar with these dossiers. So is brother Abdou Kolley, former minister of finance under President Jammeh. Our sons and daughters are being hired by other nations to handle such complex and complicated dossiers. So why  not we reach out to them, form a strong team,  get the funds and the work within our nation will be done? We should all come together within organizational skills and discipline in this and other similar tasks. One sparrow cannot make spring. Combined efforts is what any government needs to succeed, and honesty urges us to bear in mind that not all countries that are listed at the first stage, do quality at the end. 

And what causes that ultimate disqualification is where grants are not convincing or properly presented. We must avoid that. 

At this stage, we as a nation must tread carefully by doing a good job. We can definitely end up getting these funds but that cannot be in the absence of expertise and experience. 

Cape Verde is one country that has always been benefiting from the MCC. So has Senegal been benefiting from it as well. We must remain adamant in sovereignty as a nation! Thus supersede the performance of the latter. 

We can do it! We can cross the bridge as it pleases Allah. We have those who can do it within.  Let us not cross borders searching for  other experts. Washington respects our Gambian experts and would be more than willing to coordinate matters with them until we get every dime posted into our accounts with guidelines and criteria to follow.

We as a nation should set up a strong team that can diagnose every aspect.

Developing new MCC grant programs is the last lap! 

Cape Verde and others have been benefiting from the MCC because they present convincing grant programs. It is a slippery slope, so let us work hard. If Gambia can get the MCC grants and then add it to our quota on AGOA, we will earn a lot of respect within  Washington, and by extension, the US Market and beyond. 

At this stage we need economic growth with opportunities more than ever before. Certain things we all should collectively fight against now and not later, are the way our officials are  depleting travel votes without any benefits coming home; the lethargy, indifference and reckless expenditures when it comes to running projects, and or awarding of contracts. We should try very hard to minimise corruption or totally eradicate it, because these are principal when it comes to the Washington belt way!

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