Gov’t officials ignorant of Public-Private Partnerships- Sen. Karemera

A Senatorial Standing Committee on Political and Governance affairs chaired by Sen. Joseph Karemera, has exposed failure of the public sector in creating Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). According to the report by the committee, despite the publicity that has been given to PPPs, the government doesn’t have a policy support document to boost the partnerships.
Senator Joseph Karemera
Senator Joseph Karemera

A Senatorial Standing Committee on Political and Governance affairs chaired by Sen. Joseph Karemera, has exposed failure of the public sector in creating Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).

According to the report by the committee, despite the publicity that has been given to PPPs, the government doesn’t have a policy support document to boost the partnerships.

“The 2009/10 national budget provides only Rwf700m in the Project Management Fund of the PPPs which is not enough compared to the requirements. In addition, the partnerships can only be implemented based on project finance transaction structures,” reads part of the report.

It adds that some of the challenges faced by the private sector include the requirement by private investors wishing to partner with the government to raise 30 percent of the investments, saying that this is expensive given that most projects are usually expensive.

“There is a problem of mindset within the decision making organs and concerned authorities,” said Senator Karemera while presenting the report to the Senate.

He added that there is no clear way of enticing both foreign and local investors to join the PPPs.

“We are undertaking some difficult initiatives that need huge sums of money like the universal primary education. There is need to attract investors to these initiatives; I am informed the government also allocated Rwf 1.5b to facilitate PPPs but nobody knows how to access this money, these challenges need to be addressed”.

The government was represented at the session by Trade and Commerce Minister, Monique Nsanzabaganwa.

Karemera added that a meeting of all stakeholders should be called and the policy framework of the PPP tabled for further consultations.

He also proposed the amendment of the Investment Code to facilitate the engagement of the social sector.

Nsazabaganwa admitted that the programme was still facing big challenges but assured that its policy is being drafted and will be made public soon.

She added that the issue of mindset change is top on the agenda in the upcoming National Dialogue that is expected to take place next month.

Senator Rwigamba Balinda questioned the government’s involvement in setting up tariffs for private operators in the medical sector, relating the issue to the problem of mindset which he requested the minister to address in the quickest time possible.

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