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Business News of Friday, 8 May 2015

Source: GNA

Conference on PPP underway in Kumasi

A global capacity building conference on public-private partnerships (PPP), an arrangement to rope in private participation in public infrastructure development for accelerated national development, is underway in Kumasi.

The four-day conference was jointly organised by the C-NERGY Global Holdings, an investment advisory services firm in South Africa and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, under the theme: “Building Capacity to Support Local infrastructure Development through Public Private Partnerships”.

It seeks to expose its key players - local government practitioners to the mechanics of financing local infrastructure development through PPP to replace government funding for major projects.

Dr Rashid Pelpuo, Minister at the Presidency in charge of Private Sector Development, addressing the opening on Tuesday, said PPP approved by the government of Ghana in October 2011, has been identified as a crucial prerequisite for economic growth and development in the face of government’s fiscal constraints.

He said PPP as contractual agreement between a public sector party and a private entity in cost and risk sharing, is a complex policy and would soon leave cabinet circles to receive parliamentary approval to make it effective.

“Its complex nature calls for the need to expose key players to expert knowledge and render them up to the task to achieve expected outcomes” he added

Dr Pelpuo, who is also the Member of Parliament for Wa South, stated that the PPP concept was the only means of bridging the infrastructure gap in the country, since there was a direct correlation between infrastructure development and economic development

He said under the PPP, projects spanning from road construction, energy provision, construction of health facilities such as the Accra-Takoradi road dualization, construction of the Boankra port, the Asutuare Bulk water project and a number of pedestrian foot bridges, were being envisaged.

The conference is a sequel to an earlier one held in August 2014, which is providing a unique platform for senior local government officials and their private sector counterparts in sub-Saharan Africa to share hands-on experience with the 290 participants drawn from Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and the three Northern Regions.

Participants include Government Ministers, Private sector consultants, Local Government managers and Technical Directors.

Nana Adusei Poku, who represented Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, hailed the PPP as a step in the right direction and said the idea was conceptualised in an Akan wise saying to wit; “only one head cannot carry the whole world”.

Mr Kojo Bonsu, Mayor of Kumasi, said the PPP, which would support the government to embark on development projects and make life more comfortable for the citizenry, was a laudable concept which should be embraced by all stakeholders.