Minister of Finance, Peggy Serame said partnership with Africa50 will help government to implement Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects which are currently major challenges for government. Serame acknowledged that for a long time, government has been struggling to implement its PPP model due to lack of expertise and funding.
“For a number of years, PPP Policy has been approved as an approach that we need to use as government if we are to improve project implementation. We have approved that policy over the past years but the results that we see today are not impressive.” PPP policy was adopted by government in 2005 and in 2006 the Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA) developed an implementation strategy for the PPP programme which was approved by parliament in 2009.
She highlighted that government is currently struggling with financing, especially after Covid 19, where the government account has gone down significantly. “In our different engagements, PPP is the way to go because it will help us with funding and Africa50 happens to be one of those institutions to partner with that can provide alternative sources of financing for our development programme.” Government signed a partnership agreement with Africa50 and purchased shares worth 2.66 million US dollars.
Serame said she had discussed with Africa50 that before the end of this financial year, there must be at least one project that they have worked on together. “What was even more attractive for us as a country was the areas where we have been really struggling.
This being in the area of project preparation and project structuring, we don’t have a lot of experience; we don’t even have the capacity to structure projects in a way that will be attractive to partners out there. So even if you have a PPP project you will also need to know how to structure it. I believe that Africa 50 will help us move forward when it comes to this one." She said they are looking at a number of areas, including renewable energy sector.
“We believe this is one area that we can work on together to help us move quiet a few projects.” Serame said for a number of years, infrastructure will continue to have deficits. “I believe with these projects and the new approach we are taking, when projects are being implemented there will be jobs and economic growth." Afric50 Chief Executive Officer, Alain Ebobissé said Botswana is one of the African countries that have demonstrated what is possible on the African continent, given effective economic policies and good governance.
“I see many opportunities in the energy, transport and ICT sectors that I look forward to exploring further in conversations with the relevant line ministries.” He said Africa50 will be a supportive and collaborative partner for Botswana’s continued economic development. With now 30 shareholder countries, as well as the African Development Bank and two central banks as shareholders, the Institution has just under US$1 billion in capital, which they invest directly and leverage to catalyze funding from Development finance institutions (DFIs) and the private sector.
“We currently have three separate investment vehicles, Africa50 Project Development, Africa50 Project Finance and Africa50 Infrastructure Acceleration Fund, through which we deploy our capital.” He said they are keen to work with Botswana to identify sustainable and green infrastructure projects in Botswana that can be integrated into the programme recently launched at COP27, called the Alliance for Green Infrastructure in Africa (AGIA).
This is an initiative of the African Development Bank, Africa50 and the African Union, which includes several partners such as The African Sovereign Investors Forum, the European Bank for Reconstruction, the European Investment Bank, and US agencies: USTDA, USDFC and the Rockefeller Foundation. This initiative aims to raise $500 million of early-stage capital for green projects, with a goal to generate $10 billion in investment opportunities for the private sector across Africa.