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Diplomacy in Action

Remarks at the Millennium Challenge Corporation Signing Ceremony With Senegal


Remarks
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 16, 2009

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Please be seated. Thank you very much, Darius Mann, the very able leader of the MCC. And I thought that his remarks were very clear as to how we intend to work with the government and people of Senegal in order to promote sustainable development, increase the foundation for democracy, and enhance transparency and accountability.

On behalf of the Obama Administration and as the chair of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Board of Directors, I am very pleased to participate in the Signing Ceremony of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact with Senegal. The relationship between our two countries is based on a shared commitment to economic freedom and access to opportunity. Senegal’s progress in promoting these principles has given rise to the Compact we sign today.

This is the first MCC compact signed under President Obama and myself, and it reflects what the President and I conveyed during our separate trips to Africa over the summer: We want to be a partner, not a patron; we are not looking for quick fixes, but for lasting solutions that offer long-term progress.

This agreement reflects our vision of how partnerships in the 21st century can move us all forward in cooperation. In this country-driven Compact, the Government of Senegal identified barriers to economic growth and helped to craft solutions to overcome these barriers. A few years ago, President Wade started a national conversation to reduce poverty, ensure food security, and promote commerce. With input from government representatives, NGO leaders, farmers, community activists, members of the business community, the Senegalese people devised a strategy to rebuild their country’s transportation and irrigation infrastructure. And it is this Senegalese plan that the United States is working to strengthen by signing this $540 million Compact today.

While this is an agreement between our two countries, it will rely on more than our governments to ensure that it works, lasts, and delivers results for the people of Senegal. MCA-Senegal, the entity accountable for implementing the Compact, will work with representatives from throughout Senegalese society – the public sector, the business community, NGOs, and citizens – to ensure that the route to economic opportunity crosses every doorstep. It is also fitting, as Darius Mann said, that during this season of Ramadan, our attention and actions should focus on long-term solutions for the poor.

Darius Mann has described what this Compact would do for roads, for irrigation systems, but more importantly, for the people who will benefit from these investments. But in order for this to work, so that in five years we can gather again in this room and we can see the results of our investment and our efforts, it will be up to the government and to the people to make sure that we deliver what we have promised.

(Applause.)

I told President Wade before we came in that I have a personal commitment to Senegal. (Applause.) And I am very proud that we will be signing this Compact in just a few minutes. But it cannot work without a strong commitment to economic liberalization, poverty reduction, and sustainable development.

So President Wade, I’m going to ask everyone here who has traveled so far from Senegal to be with us to be part of ensuring the success of what we do together. (Applause.) We will be your partners, not just for today, but for years to come, to encourage you to build on this strong foundation, ensure good governance, fight corruption, make every aspect of government policy and operation more transparent and accountable, respect individual rights, and make Senegal the shining example of what a free market democracy can look like in the world. (Applause.)

I want to be able to tell people around the world that because of this president’s leadership and that of his two esteemed predecessors, if you want to see a country that is on the road to progress and prosperity, go to Senegal. (Applause.)

Please join me now in welcoming my counterpart, Foreign Minister Gadio, to the podium. He will give some remarks before introducing His Excellency, President Wade. (Applause.)

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PRN: 2009/926



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