By Mustapha Ezekiel Dumbuya
The public-private partnership unit from the office of the vice president has on Friday 10th July 2020 held a workshop with community stakeholders on designing, financing, managing, and operating public markets through PPP arrangement in the Western Area Rural District Council.
Abu Kamara, Director General of the Public-Private Partnership Unit said Sierra Leone’s economy has a major physical and social infrastructure gap and they have highlighted in the National Development Plan of 2019-2023.
Director also said that apart from human capital development, infrastructure development was identified as one of the bedrock strategies that can solidly support higher and inclusive growth.
“For us to enable such achievement government needs to create the enabling environment for the PPPs to thrive which will give the impetus for the establishment of PPP Unit in 2012; and working with development partners like UNDP, DFID and World Bank in drafting the PPP Bill that was enacted in October of 2014”. He said.
Mr. Koroma explained that the PPP Act 2014 was created for informing investors that the country is ready for implementing Public Projects using project finance arrangement, to enhance their developer’s confidence and assure of their protection as par law.
Director Koroma revealed that for effective collaboration and fast track of the implementation of PPP projects there should be a lead champion and that should be a cross-cutting authority amongst MDAAs to ensure timely coordination and synergistic outcomes.
He mentions that because several communities need basic facilities but the government cannot do it alone, that is why the government decided to involved the private sector to provide such facilities and expect people to pay in return.
The director also named some of the ongoing projects, Wellington Masiaka Toll Road Project, which is a concession on a PPP to China Railway Seventh Group (CRSG), Karpowership, Concession of Container terminal and Berth Extension to Bollore Terminal Logistics, Fish Receiving Centre, etc.
Tanzila watta Sankoh team leader from the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) delivering her speech; she said the program is aimed to strengthen the knowledge base of key market community stakeholders, on designing, financing, managing, and operating public market, through PPP arrangement in the Western rural district.
Madam Sankoh also said UNDP’s approach to Public-Private Partnership has always been in line with the government’s strategy to promote and increase private sector involvement in the country’s economy and social development.
She lamented that the UNDP has financially and technically given support to PPP Unit and enhance coordination of PPP Programmes at national and local levels by ensured improved quality services to the citizens of Sierra Leone.
“Over the years we have been supporting Sierra Leone’s effort to improve the country’s investment climate, generate foreign and local investment and build government capacity to enter into sustainable PPP gears towards achieving the sustainable Goal”. She said.
Mrs. Sankoh explained that Institution and regulatory framework development at the PPP Unit, Corporate Social Responsibility Framework development, Capacity of the Bank of Sierra Leone also strengthen to supervise and support financial inclusion and many more are some of the achievement gained by the government in support by UNDP.