Regional course on Negotiating Public Private Partnership Agreements underway

The regional course is jointly organised by the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF).

Speaking at the occasion, Oumie Savage-Samba, the 2nd deputy governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia, opined that Public Private Partnership (PPP) is one of the options in a policymaker’s arsenal, noting that in any case it is advisable that governments should consider both the political and social implication in designing a PPP process and selecting a form of PPP.

She emphasised that it is important to consider the objectives, policy environment, the legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks, financing requirements and resources of the sector.

The 2nd deputy governor noted that PPP must be built upon a sector diagnostic that provides a realistic assessment of the current sector constraints, and that it helps the government assess the status quo, identify gaps and weaknesses and develop a sector reform strategy or road map outlining the tools and activities required for reform. “Thus the sector diagnostic will cover technical issues, legal, regulatory and policy frameworks, institutional and capacity status, and commercial, financial and economic issues”.

She indicated that in Africa PPP has been found mostly in the energy and transport sectors, water and sanitation, refuse disposal, pipelines, hospitals, school buildings and teaching facilities, stadiums, billing and other information technology systems and housing.

Madam Savage-Samba posited that local and regional capital markets need to be deeper and broader to channel Africa’s large saving to infrastructure investment. According to her, it is also essential to strengthen expertise of local banks in project finance.

Professor Omotor Douglassan, the adviser at the Business Development unit, WAIFEM, deputising for the WAIFEM director general at the meeting, said the principal objective of the course is to provide participants with the introductory tools to effectively understand the key elements in the design, development, and monitoring of PPP programmes and contracts in a variety of sectors.

He added that the course is designed to enable participants understand what characterises a PPP and the rationale for undertaking a PPP, appreciate the main objectives of a PPP, know what elements are important to the success of a PPP, understand the entry point of PPP into the planning and budget cycle, appreciate the distinguishing characteristic of PPP contracts as output contracts, as opposed to the standard procurement contracts based upon inputs.

In his opening remarks, Dr Coffi .R. Noumon, the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) regional director for West and Central Africa, informed the participants that ACBF is Africa’s premier capacity building institution established in February 1991 and it is the outcome of a partnership between African governments and the international donor.

The ACBF mission, he added, is to build sustainable human and institutional capacity for sustainable growth, poverty reduction and good governance in Africa.

Dr Coffi disclosed that ACBF currently supports more than 326 full-fledged projects and programmes including regional organisations such as WAIFEM adding that the foundation has also provided small, rapid response grants to innovative initiatives and its works at present benefits more than 30 Sub-Saharan African countries since inception in 1991.

He added that ACBF has committed more than USD 562 million to capacity building interventions.