The PPP Imperative- a change in African Infrastructure

Africa is a continent rich in natural resources and boasts a large young, ambitious, and entrepreneurial-minded population. It imposes all the needful imperatives to build a strong base for prosperous nation in global economy. Harnessed properly, these endowments and advantages could usher in a period of sustained economic growth and increased well-being for all Africans.

However, a lack of modern infrastructure is a major challenge to Africa’s economic development and constitutes a significant impediment to the achievement of sustainable development goals.

The PPP Model: A Challenging Step.

Facing the dearth of infrastructure funding, an increasing number of countries, notably emerging markets and developing economies a need arises to make an impactful attempt to Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in order to tap private capital.

PPPs in Africa remain a very small market, with projects concentrated in only a few countries, namely, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda. We recognize that some African countries are hesitant to embark on PPPs as a result of prior bad experiences with ill-prepared PPPs or even with less-than competent PPP project sponsors.

It is broadly understood that public-private partnerships (PPP) are a procurement tool that encompass design, financing, construction and long-term operation of a public infrastructure by the private sector. They can be cost-effective thanks to adequate risk transfer and performance criteria, and help bridge Africa’s large infrastructure gap in many sectors.

The only question that strikes the mind is “What can African Government do have an effective PPP”?

Classifying potential PPP projects from the outset using the three criteria outlined above could help not only focus on the specific legal and institutional issues that are most relevant to the projects, but also on the viability issues that are critical to attracting private investors—which could include required government funding, the creditworthiness of national utilities or the financial capacity of users.

Many African countries could create precedent and bring in private capital to address their infrastructure needs. A PPP proverb by world bank strikes the issue “ Little drops of water via small projects makes an ocean of PPP projects in due course

In order to have a successful PPP Model what is actually needed to be implemented is as follows:

Political Commitment: The Government should be effective enough to have a strong hold and control over implementation of the model.

Stakeholder Engagement: Steps shall be taken to increase stakeholder engagement by involving them with seminars, discussions etc. There shall be a proper one to one coordination between the government and the stakeholders to stay on one uniform road.

Strong involvement of development institutions (Both Public & Private): A strike of balance has to be maintained between both the institutions to let the model flourish in exact terms. Uniformity in decision making is the ultimate step that is needed.

Clear and Visible Benefits: the achievement through the initiative must be lucid enough to set a goal to achieve and the implications must be beneficial in order to support the infrastructural goals.

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