Ensuring value for money in infrastructure projects is a challenge for African states if they want to bridge the infrastructure gap and deliver basic public services to their populations. In many African countries infrastructure projects are publicly-funded and represent a substantial portion of the annual budget. Weaknesses such as difficulties in appraising projects that have the highest returns, access to financing - including the rise of financing and delivery by the private sector- and low execution rates have plagued the management of public infrastructure projects.
The three-day CABRI dialogue on financing and managing infrastructure projects brought together senior officials from the budget office and ministries of infrastructure from twelve CABRI countries. The dialogue was held in Pretoria from 7 to 9 December 2009. The objective of the dialogue was for senior officials to find better ways to plan and evaluate public investments, to discuss alternative ways for governments to finance these projects and to establish ways in which to manage expenditure on these projects during implementation for value for money.
The programme of the infrastructure dialogue can be found here.
The dialogue was articulated around six case studies that investigated key decisions point in large infrastructure projects:
- Waste Water Private Public Partnership in Egypt;
- Hospital Private Public Partnership in Lesotho;
- Maputo Port Concession in Mozambique;
- Hydro Plan in Sierra Leone;
- Urban Sanitation Project in Guinea; and
- Songa Gas Project in Tanzania
The Dialogue used case studies as learning tools to apply the approaches, concepts, frameworks and tools presented in the main papers to real life situations. Participants analysed these case studies and came up with recommendations with regards to a course of action to resolve the problem presented.
Those case studies were supported by keynote papers with particular focus on the following areas:
- The pre-contracting phase with a focus on appraisal;
- The financing of infrastructure projects with a focus on the use of public private partnerships; and
- Managing the implementation of projects from government’s side through monitoring and review.
The infrastructure dialogue was the first in a series of three dialogues on the financing and managing expenditure sectors.
Ensuring Value for money in infrastructure reports
The following publications draw on the keynote papers and case studies developed for use in the CABRI Dialogue on Ensuring Value for Money in Infrastructure. The papers were commissioned by CABRI. The research was led by Mr Taz Chaponda and Mr Tony Milanese. Case-study research was conducted by Ms Clara Picanyol, Mr Matthew Smith and Ms Geraldine Baudienville.
CABRI presented the ensuring value for money reports at the Africa PPP conference in Tunis on 1 December 2010. The presentation can be found here.