Private Sector participation in major public infrastructure projects was first mooted in the decade of 1980s and the World Bank printed the first database of the involvement of the private sector in infrastructure development in July 2001 (Private Participation in Infrastructure). According to this database, private sector invested over US Dollars 580 billion in infrastructure in developing countries, in the period 1990 to 1999. This has definitely more than doubled since that past decade.

 The reason for the above is the recognition by Governments that private sector has the ability to assume many of the risks involved in construction and operation of infrastructure projects and also the general decrease in the funds available to national governments for investment in infrastructure has also had a major impact.

 The question that some might ask is: Will increasing the role of the private sector in infrastructure development benefit our region? The PPP process has a number of advantages:

  1. It transfers some of the risks associated with managing, operating and/or investing in infrastructure from the government to the private sector;
  2. It can increase efficiency of basic services, and so reduce the costs;
  3. It frees up government funds for use elsewhere, e.g. in poverty reduction programmes; and
  4. It brings new expertise into the sector.

 The PPP process is complex and, in order to create the above benefits, it requires expertise that may not exist within government. Using the private sector as a partner to deliver an infrastructure project has a number of advantages:

  1. It allows the public sector to access global and technical expertise, often not present in government;
  2. It can prevent the government from making costly mistakes;
  3. It facilitates transfer of knowledge from the private to the public sector; and
  4. It brings legitimacy to the PPP process – the use of independent advisors can often place an external stamp of endorsement on the government’s proposals, increasing investor and public confidence.

 Since regional governments have already endorsed the PPP process as one of the avenues to facilitate the delivery of infrastructure projects, then they should take the advantage of the huge expertise and resources that are available in the private sector to undertake some of its infrastructure projects. The establishment of the Public Private Partnership Project Advisory Unit Network (PPP PAUN) aims at building the capacities of the private sector in order to fulfill this need.

 James N. Mureu - Chairman, EACCIA Board



Mombasa Workshop

After the PPP PAUN Project Implementation Technical Team completed its circular mission.


Team on Circular Mis...

The PPP PAUN Project Implementation Technical Team was on its third week on circular mission.