Headlines:

‘Encourage more regional cooperation’

Osaze Omoragbon

 

Regional cooperation and funding via public-private-partnerships (PPP) can play an important role in funding large projects which are beyond the reach of many countries. That is the submission of Daniel Kablan Duncan, Prime Minister of Cote d’ Ivoire who extols the virtue of partnering on large projects to meet development aspirations.

 

Citing the case of energy projects, Prime Minister Duncan says “syndication of resources makes it possible to fund durable projects. It is important to bring all partners to the table; both the electricity importing and exporting countries”. Denouncing excessive checkpoints which delay movement and increase costs on the trans-West Africa highway, the Prime Minister advocates its management by a supranational body to reduce bottlenecks. On funding, Prime Minister Duncan believes a viable project will always find funds, remarking that “if a project is bankable it will find the funds”.

 

On the legal challenges faced by the private sector in investing in infrastructure projects, Ibrahim Bocar Ba, Commissioner for Macroeconomic Policy, ECOWAS says “we have arbitration courts and trade tribunals for resolving contract disputes. We are also training legal specialists and putting in place appropriate legal structures that gives confidence to investors”.

 

Kalaa Mpinga, Chief Executive Officer, Mwana Africa believes private sector investors are ready to pay for processes and structures that simplify their businesses and calls for closer PPP arrangement.  He however cautions saying “we should be careful about what PPP entails. No private investor will finance any project 100 percent; government still has to provide one form of subsidy or guarantees”.

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