Third World Network

African civil society organizations on Friday called on governments to reevaluate their public-private partnerships (PPPs) regulations to allow locals reap more from the partnerships.

Under the umbrella, the Third World Network (TWN), the campaigners said the current policies have done little to benefit the poor and called for amendments of the laws to focus on improving access to services for the poor.

“The principal drive for establishment of the PPPs is to support public sector delivery while mutually benefiting the private sector,” said Tetteh Hormeku’Ajei, TWN head of programs, told journalists in Nairobi.

Hormeku’Ajei said Africa should adopt new models that seek to fill some gaps and issues that may exist around the impacts of PPP on poor consumers.

Jane Nalunga, country director for Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiation Institute (SEATINI), said the laws should promote government’s ability to respond quickly to needs of the public by leveraging the skills, expertise and resources of the private sector.

Nalunga called for proper management and strict transparency to iron out the prevailing contradictions which she said have led to failure to deliver public value and further resulted in uncontrolled rent seeking by private partners.

“PPPs have been described as ‘incomplete contracts’, implying that they are likely to encounter unanticipated events that can negatively impact the partnership leading to loss of control by the public entity,” she said.

Nalunga said by engaging communities in delivery of basic services to the poor enables them to feel part and parcel of the projects and lead to improved value-for-money.

She said the policies should be carefully framed with acknowledgement of conflict of interest between the public and private sectors in which one party is bound by a social contract and the other by a private interest. Enditem

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