At a global gathering of infrastructure policy makers and business leaders in the Republic of the Congo, an agreement was reached to develop the hydroelectric potential of the Sounda site, in the district of Kouilou. Here the Republic of Congo intends to implement a public private partnership (PPP). The IFC was selected to advise to the government of the Congo and a competitive tender is planned to select partners for this project with 1,000 MW potential.
This event, the Build Africa forum concluded that PPPs are key to Africa’s development. PPPs are important to close Africa’s infrastructure gap, as well as to generate new profits for African economies. Despite large discrepancies between countries that have managed to put up successful PPPs in Africa and those that have failed, PPPs have proven to work, provided they are based on a legal framework, with a fair allocation of risks and benefits between parties. This requires local capacity building on PPPs, long term planning and phasing, strong political will, as well as transparent coordination between public and private players.
Increasing the number of bankable projects is mandatory to boost infrastructure in Africa. Further, regional integration is not a choice, but a necessity for African economies to compete in a globalised world. African countries must not compete but rather work to complement each other, as economic and physical boundaries do not necessarily match.