Addis Ababa — The Economic Commission for Africa and its sister regional commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, will in May convene the 4th International Public-Private Partnerships Forum in Geneva.
The Forum, which will run from 7-9 May, 2019 under the theme: The Last Mile: Promoting People-first PPPs for the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, aims to increase the expertise of governments to identify, negotiate, manage and implement successful PPPs projects, says ECA's Eunice Ajambo.
Ms. Ajambo, an Economic Affairs Officer in the Macroeconomics and Governance Division at the ECA, says the Forum will examine actions needed to strengthen the PPP model by increasing collaboration between the public and private sectors and identifying ways in which stakeholder engagement can be increased, among others.
The ECA will focus a session on the "Role of African PPP Units in Implementing PPPs."
Collaboration between the public and private sectors is increased through the exchange of knowledge and experiences of PPPs by member States, including experts from the two sectors, particularly in the identification and testing of best practice.
Forum outcomes will feed into Sustainable Development Goal 17 - To strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development, and particularly the targets to mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources; and enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals.
With only a decade to the expiration of the 2030 Agenda, the impetus to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals remains an imperative. In 2019, the ECA's Economic Report on Africa estimates that the continent's financing needs for the SDGs range from $614 billion to $638 billion a year.
Africa's annual financing needs for infrastructure, food security, health, education and climate change mitigation alone are estimated at $210 billion. Mobilizing the various means of implementation to finance the SDGs has been an ongoing quest for African countries, with member States and partners exploring various financing instruments and seeking ways to strengthen existing ones.
The Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development (AAAA), of the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development, calls for the consideration of the financing mix for the SDGs. It recognizes that "both public and private investment have key roles to play in infrastructure financing... ".
Blended finance instruments including PPP serve to lower investment-specific risks and incentivize additional private sector finance across key development sectors led by regional, national and subnational government policies and priorities for sustainable development... "
The ECA estimates that a total of 29 African countries have PPP Units. The Commission's recent analysis and consultations with member States and other private sector stakeholders showcase continuous challenges, including the financial and efficiency gains of PPPs, in addition to the need for capacity to develop, structure, manage and evaluate PPPs, given their associated risks.
Yet PPPs are a necessary component of the funding mix. They augment government budgets, and are thus an opportunity for resource mobilization and engagement with partners, including the private sector.
"They are an alternative to full privatization and its related weaknesses, and they help solve the dire need for public services and goods, if structured and managed well. There exist best practices where PPPs have been successful," said Ms. Ajambo as she stressed the importance of the Forum.
Venue: Salle XVIII, Palais des Nations, Geneva
Register at: https://www.unece.org/ppp/forum2019.html
Contact: Ms. Eunice Ajambo. Economic Affairs Officer, Macroeconomics and Governance Division, ECA (firstname.lastname@example.org)