NAIROBI, Kenya May 31 – Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) President Mugure Njendu has today challenged local professionals to build their capacity and understanding of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) so they can participate in large infrastructure projects.
Speaking during a PPP masterclass seminar for 100 professionals in the built environment, she noted that without sufficient knowledge in the legal, fund-raising, and procurement dynamics of PPP’s, such projects will continue being dismissed as insurmountable feats or handed over to foreign contractors.
Organized by BCDIP, the training arm of Howard Aidevo Consulting, the seminar brought together 100 local architects, engineers, quantity surveyors and procurement professionals to address the challenges faced in the process of PPPs.
“Understanding how to design a successful PPP is crucial for our local professionals. This will set them up to strongly participate in PPP projects in the energy, transport and social sectors” said Mugure.
While addressing the 6th Annual Devolution Conference in March, Safaricom’s Chief Special Projects Officer, Joseph Ogutu, gave a clarion call to the private sector to embrace PPPs. However, the private sector in Kenya has continued shunning PPPs because many projects have been fraught with difficulty at various levels of execution.
“The current bludgeoning infrastructure is proof that Kenya is growing. However, this growth will only be sustainable if we close the capacity, skills and knowledge gaps on the PPP process and its legal, financial and commercial aspects”, said Rose Kananu, Managing Director of Howard Aidevo.
There is still a significant gap between Kenya’s need for infrastructure and critical services like hospitals, prisons etc. and the government’s ability to pay for such investments. This is despite a significant annual allocation to the development of infrastructure and social services.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) projects a growth of 30 per cent for African economies by 2040. PPPs, especially those initiated by local professionals can be a homegrown solution to this challenge.
Dr. Eustace Mwarania, Chairman of Trapos Africa and the Likoni Cable Express Project said that besides embracing global best practice, local professionals must also be empowered to address a critical driver of PPP success that is often overlooked: securing the right project financing and management expertise.