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Cablegate: Delivery of Mcc Scorecard Is Occasion for Criticism By

VZCZCXRO9205
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHDK #2144 3101418
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 061418Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAKAR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9490
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHLMC/MCC WASHDC

UNCLAS DAKAR 002144

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/EPS AND AF/W

E.O.12958
TAGS: EAID KMCA PREL ECON MCC SG
SUBJECT: DELIVERY OF MCC SCORECARD IS OCCASION FOR CRITICISM BY
SENIOR GOS OFFICIAL

REF: A. STATE 146777

B. DAKAR 1993 AND PREVIOUS

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: In receiving Senegal's FY08 MCC Scorecard,
Presidential Advisor Aminata Niane criticized the MCC's lack of
clarifying information in the annual indicators and the lack of
flexibility by the MCC to help Senegal, an "important partner,"
achieve a compact. Minister Niane was not being forthright in
placing all the blame on the MCC for the decision to not pursue a
compact to fund Dakar's Toll road project. Niane did not have any
new ideas for a possible compact proposal. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) Per Ref A request, on October 30, Charge presented Senegal's
2008 MCC scorecard to Aminata Niane, Minister without Portfolio and
Special Advisor to the President. Ms. Niane is also the Director
General of APIX, Senegal's Investment Promotion Agency. Charge
highlighted that Senegal has sufficient passing grades on the
indicators, but that the final determination of eligibility will
rest with the MCC Board.

SENEGAL WANTS MCC TO BE FLEXIBLE
--------------------------------
3. (U) While Minister Niane was pleased to have received an advance
copy of Senegal's scorecard and expressed satisfaction that Senegal
had somewhat improved its indicators since 2007, she was quick to
launch into a criticism of MCC's "lack of flexibility" with both the
indicators and in reaching compact agreements.

4. (U) On the indicators, Niane insisted that the MCC should
provide footnotes or other indications when a country has improved
on an indicator after the reporting period. [Note: Over the past
couple of months, APIX has succeeded in greatly reducing the number
of days it takes to register a business in Senegal, and it is likely
that the country will move from a failing to a passing grade for the
"Business Start-Up" indicator in the FY09 Scorecard. End note.]

5. (SBU) Regarding the GOS's efforts to conclude a compact
proposal, Niane heaped blame on the MCC for the failure to conclude
an agreement on funding of Dakar's toll road (Ref B), and asserted
that MCC should make special "considerations" on its due diligence
requirements for "an important partner such as Senegal." Naine also
charged that MCC "does not communicate well."

6. (U) Charge reminded Minister Niane that the compact proposal for
the Diamniadio Platform fell through because the GOS signed a
competing agreement with Dubai's Jafza Ltd. without consulting the
MCC, and that the MCC had maintained a dialog on the Toll Road for
more than one year. Charge added that the toll road deal fell
through because the GOS decided it could not be flexible in the
timing of its procedures for a private concessionaire, and in doing
so established its apparent preference for USD 30-40 million in
loans from the World Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD)
rather than potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in MCC grant
assistance.

THE NEXT PROPOSAL
-----------------
7. (U) Charge confirmed the willingness of the MCC and the Embassy
to consult with Senegal on future compact proposals. Niane asserted
that Senegal has already provided the MCC with a "complete" proposal
for a power plant that should require no additional study. The
Charge reminded Niane that both the former Ambassador and the MCC
have underscored that a compact in the power sector is highly
problematic in part because significant additional feasibility and
impact studies would need to be conducted.

COMMENT
-------
8. (SBU) Minister Niane is among the most knowledgeable senior GOS
officials regarding MCC's efforts in Senegal. Like everybody
involved, she is frustrated that Senegal has not yet concluded a
compact. She is, however, being insincere in arguing that all the
blame rests with the MCC, which, in our view has been transparent
and forthright in its dealings with Senegal, as well as with the
World Bank and AFD. The lack of a compact with Senegal is, for the
most part, due to the GOS's unwillingness to accept MCC terms and
requirements for transparency and due diligence. Niane, who is now
one of President Wade's closest economic advisors, and is also
reportedly allied to the political-economic forces led by Karim Wade
and "The Generation of Concrete" (that is, the future leadership to
the ruling PDS party), will apparently maintain the line that
Senegal deserves special treatment.

SMITH

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