U.S. signs $524.7 million investment compact with Ivory Coast

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Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Acting CEO Jonathan Nash, left, and Côte d’Ivoire Minister of Economy and Finance Adama Koné, second from left, shake hands after signing the Côte d’Ivoire compact as Côte d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara, right, looks on, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, at the State Department in Washington. The five-year, $524.7 million compact is designed to spur economic growth and reduce poverty in Côte d’Ivoire, supporting regional stability and new business opportunities. (Photo by Steve Ruark for MCC)

WASHINGTON- The Millennium Challenge Corporation, the U.S. government’s main development fund, said on Tuesday it had signed a $524.7 million investment compact with Ivory Coast to build schools and improve roads around the busy port in the commercial capital Abidjan.

The five-year compact was signed at the State Department between Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara and Jonathan Nash, the MCC’s acting chief executive.

MCC investments are aimed at showcasing countries with good policies and the body’s seal of approval is meant to attract foreign investors.

Split from 2002 to 2011 between rebels in the north and government forces in the south, Ivory Coast has since become one of the world’s fastest growing economies and is regularly cited as a model of post-conflict renewal.

The MCC said its grant funding would help build 84 secondary schools and train teachers to boost education in a country where roughly 40 percent of the population is under 14.

It said its investments in the Abidjan Transport Project will help rebuild the road network around Abidjan’s port, among the busiest in sub-Saharan African, and reduce transport costs.

Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Frances Kerry (Reuters) 

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