PPP in Africa: pushing the boundaries

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have emerged as a strong platform to enable infrastructure development across the world. They were developed to fund social infrastructure in western Europe in the 1990s and since then have continued to branch out both in terms of location and sector focus. In context, PPPs allow for infrastructure development and the associated economic benefits in circumstances where public funding constraints exist. So what is behind the success of PPPs and what is the potential for their future use in Africa?

PPP structures can be used to fund the development and operation of new infrastructure over a long-term period. Rather than funding a project upfront, they allow a public body to arrange for the private sector to fund, construct and operate the new infrastructure. In return, the public authority makes committed payments to the private sector throughout the project term once services commence. It is perhaps one of the most acute displays of the transition to a service-centric global economy…

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