Africa and its partners must focus on integration and build robust institutions and infrastructure for public-private partnerships to succeed, says Kaberuka
On November 20, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) said, “Since Africa is the region with the second highest growth rate in the world, the deficit in terms of infrastructure is significant. We therefore need to focus our efforts on developing the three I's: Integration, to work towards a single market; Institutions, to promote confidence and stability; and Infrastructure, to reduce the deficit and ensure the competitiveness of 'African economies.'
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 6th Africa Public-Private Partnership (PPP) conference in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Donald Kaberuka added: “We are here to find solutions to funding needs. Africa has an annual deficit of US $42 billion for the development of infrastructure. PPPs can help solve the infrastructure deficit in Africa, but the design, structure and implementation may be complex and arduous.”
Therefore, “African countries must focus their efforts on factors that aim to improve the chances of PPPs succeeding, namely: a suitable environment, with stable policies, macroeconomic stability and a legal and political framework for PPPs as key; robust political engagement and strong support from stakeholders; a solid portfolio of reliable projects; and the institutional capacity to negotiate and manage contracts.”
Kaberuka assured conference attendees of the AfDB’s commitment to development alongside them and announced that “60% of our annual financial commitments in support of projects goes to programmes and projects in the infrastructure sector.”
For his part, the Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, Daniel Kablan Duncan, pointed out in opening the conference that, “We all know that we cannot think of PPPs as a panacea for every problem to do with financing infrastructure. They can sometimes involve real problems for public finances.”
It is therefore necessary, he said, “to set up a strategy to promote PPPs that is compatible with the needs of our economies while complying with questions of transparency, competition and fairness in the treatment of candidates as well as the well-being of our populations.”
The 6th conference (APPP 2014) is an annual exhibition of public-private partnerships in Africa organized by AME Trade Ltd. in partnership with the AfDB. From November 19-21, about 50 participants from the sector will share their knowledge with more than 200 delegates.
The first plenary session of the opening day of the conference entitled “Current projects and key sectors for PPPs” aimed to address problems linked to PPPs in Côte d’Ivoire, the AfDB’s experience with PPPs and its support for inclusive growth, using Côte d’Ivoire as a case study.
The other sessions on the first day covered subjects such as effective preparation for projects and an overview of PPPs in Africa, using case studies. During the conference, which concludes Friday, the AfDB will outline its vision and plans for PPPs on the continent.