ICA co-organized Public-Private Partnership Conference to Boost Water and Sanitation Services in Africa
14 June 2012
Public-Private Partnership Conference
5th-8th June 2012
ACCELERATING ACCESS TO WATER AND SANITATION IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
SCALING UP PRIVATE SECTOR PARTICIPATION
The Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA), a G8 initiative hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), co-organized a public-private partnership (PPP) conference with the International Finance Corporation and other World Bank organizations on June 5th-8th, 2012 in Dakar, Senegal. More than 120 participants from across sub-Saharan Africa gathered to discuss ways to increase the capacity of key policy makers in accelerating access to safe and reliable water and sanitation services through targeted and well-structured PPP projects.
Participants at the conference included Ministers of Water & Sanitation from Senegal, Uganda, Malawi, Sudan, Mauretania, Gambia and Madagascar; senior government officials in charge of water and sanitation; executives from water and sanitation utilities; financiers, and international private operators.
In his speech for the opening ceremony, Prime Minister of Senegal, Abdoul Mbaye, underlined the progress that PPPs have made in his country and hailed PPPs as a response to resource mobilization that does not increase Senegal's national debt. He stated that PPPs are not a panacea, but a powerful tool that guarantees better services via shared investments.
A true PPP places emphasis on ‘partnership’, as guaranteeing better services requires considerable effort and commitment from both the public and private sectors. Private sector participation provides a promising solution to sustainable management and financing of water services.
In his speech, Mr. Sering Jallow, director of the AfDB Water and Sanitation Department, reiterated the importance of PPPs: “A number of recent studies put the annual water supply and sanitation investment, and operation and maintenance requirements at between US$18-29 billion annually. According to the best estimates, we are mobilizing only about 8 billion through tariffs, domestic taxes and government subventions as well as transfers from development partners. As public sector funds are insufficient to cover resource requirements, there is a need for collaboration and strong involvement of the private sector as implementers, financiers and providers of services.”
Africa is now one of the world’s fastest growing economic hotspots, with many countries averaging 6% growth annually. This increased growth creates opportunities for private sector investments in Africa that include water-related infrastructure. However, in most African countries, the possibilities for attracting market-based private finance to support water utility operations are limited.
The event was an excellent opportunity to review the progress made in water and sanitation PPPs in Africa and to learn from successful African and international models. IFC hosted the conference in partnership with the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), ICA, and the Senegalese Ministry of Water and Sanitation.
This event is part of a series of regular PPP capacity building and networking events sponsored by IFC Advisory Services in Public-Private Partnerships. In addition to this event, ICA partnered with IFC on a PPP port seminar held in Cairo in April 2010, and an airport seminar held in Dubai in February 2011.
About the ICA Water Platform
ICA was launched at the G8 Gleneagles summit in 2005, with the mission to help improve the lives and economic well-being of Africans by supporting increased investment in infrastructure in Africa, from public and private sources. As part of ICA’s work in fostering coordination on a sector level, a Water Platform (WP) was launched in May 2011 and led by Germany. The WP facilitates matchmaking between ICA Members and African Stakeholders in the Water Sector, including regular dialogue to encourage joint investment activities.
ICA Water Platform Objectives:
- Scale up finance for sustainable water infrastructure in Africa from public, private and public-private sources.
- Identify and facilitate bankable water-related projects, with a focus on regional projects.
- Facilitate dialogue on financing between African stakeholders, development partners and the private sector to promote best practices, remove bottlenecks and facilitate regional Water Infrastructure Programs and member initiatives.
- Facilitate greater co-operation (in alignment with African priorities, e.g. African Water Vision 2025, Sharm-El Sheik Declaration) among ICA members, relevant initiatives and partnerships, and other important sources of water infrastructure finance, via regular Water Platform Meetings, support of the AMCOW work plan and matchmaking activities.