Cablegate: Ambassador Danilovich's Visit to Mali: Mcc Scorecard,

DE RUEHBP #1367 3331647
R 291647Z NOV 07




E.O. 12958: N/A

STATE 152489

1. Summary: During his recent visit to Mali, MCC CEO Ambassador
Danilovich discussed the MCC's Scorecard with Malian Prime Minister
Modibo Sidibe November 14. MCC officials held a series of follow-on
meetings with Malians to develop plans to address issues raised by
the scorecard. Danilovich also delivered an address to the
Community of Democracies Ministerial elaborating on the links
between development, democracy and good governance, and gave several
interviews to the Malian Press. Press coverage of the visit was
uniformly positive. End Summary.

2. In an October 30 letter, Ambassador McCulley conveyed to Malian
Prime Minister Sidibe the content of Mali's MCC eligibility
scorecard, noting that Mali does not meet the eligibility criteria
for FY08 due in large part to the introduction of anew indicator
and data collection issues under MC's "Investing in People"
category. On November14, MCC CEO Ambassador Danilovich,
accompanied byMCC Director Jim Mazzarella and Country Director Jn
Anderson, met with Pime Minister Sidibe to discuss the Scorecard
and ompact implementation issues. The Prime Minister as
accompanied by his Directeur de Cabinet Djang Sissoko and Economic
Advisor Madani Toure, as well as MCA Director Bania Toure.

3. The Prime Minister underscored the seriousness Mali put on the
news of the eligibility failings by elaborating on GOM plans to
address each of the failed indicators. He said that the compact and
the criteria were in line with the development goals of the
President's second mandate, and thus touched on general policy areas
that already were of concern. He mentioned the President's
Investment Council which has been working on the business climate in
Mali, the new Agricultural Orientation Law that addresses certain
land access and rights issues, and other government initiatives.
The potential impact of failing the eligibility criteria on the
present and any potential second Compact was discussed, as well as a
general approach to a remediation plan. The PM said that he would
create an inter-ministerial committee to address the criteria, but
provided little detail. A series of subsequent bilateral meetings
between MCC and senior officials in the responsible ministries
indicated that the Malians were well-engaged in addressing the

4. The Prime Minister was also concerned about how the Compact
could achieve its objectives in the face of the loss in value of the
U.S. dollar and the rising cost of fuel (among other factors). MCC
stated there was no definitive answer but it was a problem for MCC
in general and solutions were being explored. It was evident from
the discussion that the Compact is of such importance to the
President's and the government's program that any compromise on the
program's objectives would negatively affect the Government's (and
MCC's) credibility.

5. In addition to bilateral discussions with Malian officials,
Ambassador Danilovich was asked to give remarks at the opening of
the Fourth Community of Democracies Ministerial hosted in Bamako
from November 15-17. The address focused on the link between
development, democracy, and good governance.

6. Thanks to an excellent pre-existing relationship with members of
the Malian media that make up an "MCC Press Corps," Ambassador
Danilovich's visit to Mali received extremely wide and positive
press coverage in both the print and electronic media. His visit to
Segou, tour of the airport and the industrial park site in Bamako,
and press conference resulted in 15 minutes of prime time television
coverage, spread out over 3 nights, and reaching more than 2
millions Malians. His roundtable with community radio operators in
Segou also ensured that the local population was better informed
about MCC and its impact on Malian agriculture, while the press
conference in Mali produced positive articles in seven Malian
newspapers, including the most widely-read newspaper,
government-owned daily "L'Essor."

7. Both the warm reception accorded to Ambassador Danilovich and
the assiduous attention being accorded the news of eligibility
criteria problems underscore the importance the GOM attaches to the
success of its Compact. Further follow-up on scorecard deficiencies
follows septel.

© Scoop Media

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