SIERRA LEONE PPP CONTEXT
Since the end of the civil conflict, the Government of Sierra Leone’s (GoSL) economic policies have focused on rebuilding its economy and infrastructure to lay the foundations for future growth. It sets out its development objectives in the Agenda for Prosperity with a clear focus on improving energy availability, employment opportunities, and transport infrastructure, Fisheries Infrastructure, Tourism and agriculture productivity through the involvement of the private sector. However, infrastructure remains a major challenge in Sierra Leone, and this has limited private sector development and consequently held back further improvement in Sierra Leone’s Doing Business rankings.
While recognizing the challenge, the government has looked to PPP funding alternatives with a view of exploring private sector solutions to this bottleneck.
To tackle this challenge, The Government of Sierra Leone set up the Public Private Partnership Unit within the President’s Office to manage the inflow of solicited and unsolicited proposals and promote Public Private Partnership solutions. In a bid to further encourage and professionalize the process by which PPPs are established and to ensure that line Ministries have improved access to the capabilities required to evaluate and negotiate proposals, the Government determined that it needed a PPP Policy and implementation framework. This resulted in the provision of legal authority to the PPP Unit, which further strengthened the enabling environment for the Private Sector. It is important to note that in October 2014, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone assented the Public Private Partnership Act of 2014 after it was passed by the Parliament, to allow greater use of public-private partnerships in Sierra Leone.
Before now, the Government realised the need for additional capacity and experience in developing PPP projects and arrangements. The Act establishes a dedicated PPP Unit charged with the responsibility to manage the projects in collaboration with the relevant Ministries, Agencies & departments who have the primary responsibility for the projects from inception to the implementation phase. Development Partners have been key to establishing the PPP Unit.