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Minister of Finance holds high level session to propel Public-Private Partnerships for Infrastructure Development in Zambia

22 February, 2024
Minister of Finance holds high level session to propel Public-Private Partnerships for Infrastructure Development in Zambia

Lusaka, Zambia, 22 February 2024 - Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Situmbeko Musokotwane held a high-level session of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Council of Ministers of Zambia, along with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to discuss the outcomes of a four day workshop intended to build capacities of government officials and to mobilise finance for Zambia’s sustainable development.

Mr. Situmbeko said that Zambia is making PPP a lever for economic recovery and that the government attached great importance to the capacity building workshop. He called on the two key Ministers present: Hon Charles Milupi, Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development and Hon. Franck Tayali, Minister of Transport and Logistics to engage actively with UNCTAD and UNECA to come up with a strategic plan that identifies potential projects and allows capacity building of Zambian experts.

The PPP Council of Ministers was preceded by a two-part capacity building workshop on PPPs in Zambia. The overall objective of the capacity-building activity was to provide the Government of Zambia and its agencies with the necessary knowledge to further develop and master the skills required to deliver PPP projects that are well-prepared and bankable, but also environmentally and socially sustainable. The beneficiaries of the workshop were key stakeholders from various ministries, public agencies and institutions involved in either supporting or developing infrastructure projects, or in providing public services through infrastructure that could be delivered through PPPs.

The first workshop aimed to raise awareness and build fundamental knowledge among key stakeholders and agencies regarding PPPs and their sustainable development in Zambia. The second workshopaimed to further develop the institutional capacities of Zambian government agencies on PPPs by building technical knowledge and understanding of PPPs, with a particular focus on: (i) how to properly structure a PPP project (ii) how to finance PPPs and (iii) the PPP cycle (preparation, delivery, and management of PPP contracts).

The workshop was officially opened by Ms. Lois Mulube, Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and National Planning (MFNP) who highlighted that the workshop enhanced the capacity of key players to use PPP which provides practical solutions to promote private sector growth and that Zambia’s development agenda is premised on innovative financing approaches to spur development. She noted that, “PPPs will provide an opportunity for the Zambian Government to leverage on private sector competencies and financial resources that support delivery of cost effective, resilient and sustainable infrastructure projects”.

Ms. Eunice G. Kamwendo, Director, UNECA Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa (SRO-SA) pointed out that the imperative for prioritizing PPPs in infrastructure development is underscored by the pressing needs across Africa. She said the African Development Bank estimated an annual infrastructure requirement of $130–170 billion and a staggering financing gap ranging from $68–$108 billion in Africa.

She emphasized that to address these challenges Zambia needed a strategic engagement with the private sector to develop robust PPP framework and bridge the infrastructure gaps that hinder progress and prosperity.  She noted that the workshop presented, “a unique opportunity to strengthen stakeholders’ capacities to utilise PPPs for innovative financing and infrastructure development to support industrialisation in selected African countries”.

Ms. Frida Youssef, Chief, Transport Section, Trade Logistics Branch, of UNCTAD informed participants that for PPPs to be successful Zambia needed clear policy frameworks, proper regulation, long-term investment plan, viable projects, evaluation and monitoring systems and an operating framework within the government.

At the workshop, Ms. Bineswaree Bolaky, Economic Affairs Officer, UNECA SRO-SA highlighted that the capacity building workshop was a planned deliverable of the UNDA13th Tranche project funded by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) titled “Towards an Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF),” that includes Zambia and Burkina Faso as beneficiary African countries.

The workshop facilitated mainly by Mr. Hugo Gossman dedicated time to share best practices and tackle issues related to PPP development in Africa, lessons learnt from previous experiences, PPPs Legal Framework in Zambia, financing PPP projects and PPP sustainability and resilience assessment tools. The workshop built on the "Action Plan for PPP Implementation" developed by UNECA, which identified a  set of key actions to support the Government of Zambia in improving its capacity to implement and manage sustainable public-private partnerships (PPPs) to close the infrastructure gap and deliver better public services to the population.

At the workshop, Mr. Anthony Mehlwana, Economic Affairs Officer at UNECA shared insights from the Diagnostic Report for Zambia on Infrastructure PPP that was produced as part of another UNDA13th tranche project that UNECA has implemented to support a selected group of African countries to better leverage PPP as a tool for sustainable development.  A copy of the report is available at: