From: Sarah Wheaton [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 09, 2015 02:05 PM
To: Lance, Kirsten
Subject: VPOTUS pool 1 - signing ceremony
Biden is participating in a Compact Signing Ceremony with Benin's president, Thomas Boni Yayi, here in the ornate Indian Treaty Room on the fourth floor of the EEOB.
Biden entered the room at 2 pm sharp. He's sitting at the front of the room, facing crowd.
Grammy award winner Angelique Kidjo is in audience, according to introduction.
The compact is for a $375 million Millennium Challenge Corp. grant to "reduce poverty through economic growth by making a strategic investment in Benin's electric power sector," according to a program.
There was handshaking, shoulder grabbing and cheek-kissing -- and that was before Biden entered the room. Benin, after all, is a former French colony. Pooler estimates around 75 in the audience.
Background from the VP's Office:
Today Vice President Biden accompanied by President Boni Yayi of Benin will preside over the signing of the compact between the United States and Benin. Ms. Dana Hyde, CEO of MCC, and the Honorable Komi Koutche, Minister of State for the Economy, Finance, and Denationalization Programs, will sign the compact.
Millennium Challenge Corporation Board of Directors approved a $375-million, power-sector-focused compact with Benin. The compact includes MCC's largest power generation project, its largest investment in solar power and its largest off-grid electrification project. The MCC compact will significantly enhance the engagement of Benin in the Power Africa effort. MCC's continued focus on combining infrastructure investments with sector policy reforms and institutional strengthening is expected to help Benin open the power sector to private investment.
The $375-million compact includes:
■$41.2 million for policy reform and institutional strengthening;
■$135.9 million for electricity generation, including solar power, thermal, and small-scale hydroelectric generation activities;
■$109.7 for electricity distribution;
■$45.9 million for off-grid electricity access;
■$5.3 million for compact monitoring and evaluation; and
■$37 million for program administration and oversight.
The Government of Benin will make a financial contribution of $28 million towards the program.
The compact includes a strong emphasis on policy reform, including:
■Utility governance and administrative reforms; ■Payment of government arrears to the utility; ■Tariff reforms; ■Reforms targeted to enable private sector participation in on-grid power generation; and ■Reforms allowing for off-grid electrification.
Over the next 20 years, MCC expects 9.8 million people to benefit from the Benin compact.
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