Malawi has sparkled on the 2020 Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) scorecard, excelling in 18 of the 20 indicators examined.
The scorecard released on Tuesday shows that Malawi performed well in the critical areas of political rights, civil liberties, control of corruption, government effectiveness, rule of law and freedom of information.
The country also excelled in inflation, regulatory quality, trade policy, gender in the economy, land rights and access, access to credit, health expenditures, primary education expenditures, natural resource protection, immunisation rates, girls’ primary education completion and child health.
Malawi, however, recorded a dismal performance in fiscal policy and business startup.
According to MCC, the scorecard is a key component in MCC’s annual competitive selection process that determines which countries are eligible to develop a five-year grant agreement, known as Compact, with the agency.
MCC says the scorecard indicators can also be used by businesses and investors to inform decisions and understand the operating environment in a specific country.
“MCC’s competitive selection is a data-driven, transparent process for determining where the agency invests to reduce poverty through economic growth. To be considered for an MCC compact, countries are expected to first pass MCC’s scorecard, passing at least 10 of the 20 indicators, including the Political Rights or Civil Liberties indicator, and the Control of Corruption indicator. This year, 25 of the 78 countries for which MCC created scorecards passed the scorecard, while 53 countries did not.
“Each December, MCC’s Board of Directors selects new partner countries based on scorecard performance, supplemental information, the opportunity to reduce poverty through economic growth and available funding,” MCC says in a statement.
US Embassy Public Affairs Officer, Douglas Johnston, said Malawi must be annually re-selected by MCC’s Board in December as eligible to develop a compact throughout the compact development process.
“This requires that Malawi continues to meet MCC’s eligibility criteria, including passing MCC’s scorecard, showing a clear commitment to good governance, and sustaining the first compact’s investments,” Johnson said.
Government spokesperson Gospel Kazako was not immediately available for comment.
Malawi was selected by MCC’s Board of Directors as eligible for an MCC compact programme in December 2018.
MCC Country Director for Malawi, Joel Wieget, told reporters when he visited the country in February that he was hopeful the country’s second compact would be rolled out in 2022, all things being equal.
Wieget said, while many were inpatient with their timelines, it was crucial that they get it right in designing projects that lead to economic growth and prosperity of Malawi.
MCC indicates that women bear the brunt of disregard for civil rights, which perpetuates poverty.