ZAMBIA: PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS TO FUND TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE
The Minister has revealed that Government will aggressively pursue PPPs, as a mechanism to fund and construct transport infrastructure.
The Public-Private Partnership Act 14 of 2009 (PPP Act) defines ‘public-private partnership’ as investment through private sector participation in an infrastructure project or infrastructure facility.
Speaking during the 2022 National Budget presentation, the Minister said Government will exploit the PPP funding model to overhaul the existing rail line and construct new railway spurs as well as roads.
In the aviation sub-sector, the Minister outlined that the focus will be on the completion of Kasama and Mbala airports as well as the rehabilitation and maintenance of provincial airports and aerodromes to facilitate air transport for both cargo and passengers. While in road transport, priority will be placed on maintenance, rehabilitation and upgrading of feeder roads and rehabilitation of economic roads, some of which are in a deplorable state.
The Minister, who acknowledged that the financing requirements to construct new roads as well as rehabilitate and maintain existing roads was beyond the financial capacity of the Government, noted that the PPP mode of financing would be very successful because Government had already received some proposals.
Further, the Minister presented that Government will repeal and replace the PPP Act, adding that the new Act will address the shortcomings of the current law by ensuring mutual benefits to the public and private sectors and will also enhance the enabling environment for local and foreign investment.
The Minister, who emphasized that transport infrastructure and systems are the arteries through which the economy pulses, appealed ‘to the private sector to come forth and take advantage of business opportunities by investing through PPPs’.
This seems to be part of the Government’s broader framework to leverage PPP investments to deliver balanced and integrated infrastructure development.
The PPP approach will not only supplement Government efforts in infrastructure development but also free resources to support social sectors such as health and education. Even more, good roads, rail, air and maritime infrastructure are the backbone for facilitating economic activities as well as trade and investment domestically and within the region and beyond.