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Finance ministry speaks on Gambia’s MCC scorecard

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Press release

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, on behalf of the government is honoured to release that The Gambia has passed the compass of the Millennium Challenge Corporation country’s scorecard rating on policy indicators. The overall pass rate improved from 13/20 in FY22 to 14/20 in FY23.  The newly passing indicator is Immunization Rates.  In addition, the Political Rights Indicator improved over last year due to the fair, free and transparent presidential and legislative elections.

This year’s achievement is the fifth in a row being a testament to the democratic gains and consolidation the country has made.  Like all partner countries, MCC expects The Gambia to continue demonstrating a commitment to MCC’s eligibility criteria and the principles of democratic governance throughout the life of the partnership, which includes protecting civil liberties and adhering to the rule of law.  Beyond The Gambia’s continued passage of the scorecard, MCC has been encouraged by the government’s efforts to strengthen its fight against human trafficking, which led to The Gambia’s upgrade to Tier 2 on the U.S. Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons report this year.

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MCC scorecards measure policy performance on the eligibility criteria established in MCC’s authorizing legislation. The country selection process uses independent third-party sources to ensure an objective comparison of all candidate countries.

The nature of MCC rating favours indicators that:

o          Are developed by an independent third party,

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o          Have an analytically rigorous methodology and utilize objective, high-quality data,

o          Are publicly available,

o          Have broad country coverage,

o          Are comparable across countries,

o          Are policy-linked, measuring factors that governments can influence,

o          Have a clear theoretical or empirical link to economic growth and poverty reduction,

o          Are appropriately consistent in results from year to year

The MCC Board uses the policy indicators to assess country performance on MCC’s eligibility criteria. A country is considered to “pass” a given indicator if it performs better than the median score in its income group or the absolute threshold; and considered to “pass” the scorecard if it: (i) passes at least 10 of the 20 indicators; (ii) passes the Control of Corruption indicator; and, (iii) passes either the Civil Liberties or Political Rights indicator. Indicators with absolute thresholds in lieu of a median include:

a.         Inflation, on which a country’s inflation rate must be under a fixed ceiling of 15 percent;

b.         Immunization Rates, on which a country must have immunization coverage above 90% or the median, whichever is lower;

c.         Political Rights, on which countries must score above 17; and

d.         Civil Liberties, on which countries must score above 25.

The Board also takes into consideration whether a country performs substantially worse in any category (Ruling Justly, Investing in People, or Economic Freedom) than it does on the overall scorecard. While the indicator methodology is the predominant basis for determining which countries will be eligible for MCA assistance. The Board also considers supplemental information and takes into account factors such as time lags and gaps in the data used to determine indicator scores. The passing of Gambia’s scorecard was centered on the positive performance of the following indicators:

Economic Freedom:

o          Inflation- the score is 7.4 from a maximum of 15.0 ranking 40%

o          Regulatory Quality- 52%, a score of 0.05 0n a median of 0.00

o          Trade Policy- 53% a score of 64.4 on a median of 63.5

o          Land Rights and Access- 73%, a score of 0.72 on a median of 0.66

o          Employment Opportunity- 81%, a score of 0.602 on a median of 0.502

Ruling Justly:

o          Political Rights- a score of 21 at a rank of 77%

o          Civil Liberties- a score of 26 at a rank of 65%

o          Control of corruption- 83%

o          Government effectiveness- 75%

o          Rule of law- 92%

o          Freedom of information- 96%

Investing in people:

o          Immunization rates- 52%

o          Girls’ primary education completion rate-72%

o          Child health- 73%

*The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a bilateral United States foreign aid agency that provides grants to countries that have been determined to have good economic policies and potential for economic growth*

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