On Wednesday, December 16, the Board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) did not select Tanzania for a second compact. The Board deferred the vote on a second compact pending the resolution of governance concerns.
The Board may revisit Tanzania’s eligibility over the course of 2016. I remain hopeful that the Government of Tanzania will take steps to resolve MCC’s governance concerns in the near future. The Board could then vote to re-select Tanzania and approve compact development.
The Board’s governance concerns reflect longstanding MCC principles. The nullification of election results in Zanzibar halted an otherwise orderly and peaceful electoral process. The use of the Cybercrimes Act of 2015 during the elections to arrest individuals accredited by the National Electoral Commission inhibited fundamental freedoms of expression and association.
MCC has been encouraged by newly-elected President Magufuli’s recent steps to strengthen the fight against mismanagement and corruption, and hopes those efforts will continue and result in systemic change.