On April 8, 2021, Ambassador Michael McCarthy participated in a dedication ceremony for the new Liberia Electric Corporation (LEC) Customer Service Center in Waterside, Monrovia.
When the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Compact with the Government of Liberia was launched in 2016, a major goal was to ensure that Compact investments would benefit women economically. Female entrepreneurs were asked about the difficulties they faced in accessing electricity to generate income. Nearly all named poor customer service. When asked what changes would be necessary to enable them to use electricity in their businesses, nearly all of the women surveyed asked for more responsive customer service so that they could acquire and maintain working connections to the power grid.
With this feedback, the U.S. Government provided $500,000 to rehabilitate the LEC’s Customer Service Center, including improving upon the existing structure and providing furniture, equipment, training, and vehicles to strengthen service to LEC’s customers. The reconstructed facility has a comfortable waiting area that can now accommodate over 100 customers, new offices for LEC staff, a call center equipped with better technological tools for tracking customer problems, additional rest rooms, and facilities for physically challenged and disabled persons.
Ambassador McCarthy said during the launch ceremony for the renovated facility: “It is an honor to participate in today’s dedication of this Center, a project which underscores the strong partnership between Liberia and the United States, and the American people’s broader investment in this country’s electricity sector through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, USAID, and Power Africa.”
He added, “The United States shares Liberia’s hopes and joins its efforts to secure a more prosperous tomorrow for the Liberian people. Keys to that prosperity are inclusive economic growth, investing in people, and rule of law.”
In January 2021, the MCC and Millennium Challenge Account Liberia marked the close of Liberia’s Compact. The $257 million Compact aimed to encourage economic growth and reduce poverty in Liberia by addressing the inadequate access to reliable and affordable electricity and the poor quality of road infrastructure.
The Compact invested in the rehabilitation of Liberia’s largest power source, the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant as well as reconstruction of the Liberia Water and Sewage Corp. raw water pipeline, support for LEC’s management, training, and operational capacity, establishment of the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission, and development of a road asset management system to support road maintenance planning.