The Kenyan government took a big step in improving its business environment with the launch of the PPP disclosure portal PPP disclosure portal an online tool that makes all non-confidential information about PPP contracts available to the public. The portal, which went live in June, is the result of the government’s collaboration with the World Bank Group to improve transparency and accountability in PPPs since 2016.
The government launched the disclosure portal shortly after declaring its fight against corruption in the public sector at a time when citizens in Africa are increasingly demanding answers, engaging their governments, and increasing scrutiny in public spending.
According to the portal(link), Kenya has a pipeline of 70 projects that will be funded and or financed by public and private partnerships overseen by the unit. There are currently 6 fast projects that are at different stages of procurement, government approval, review or under development.
The private sector has played a key role in partnering with the Kenyan government on key infrastructure projects most notable in transport and energy sectors. As a result, the private sector is keen on the government’s efforts towards transparency. This may sound self-evident, but in many economies, achieving transparency is an uphill task wherever the private sector is involved in delivering public services.
However increasingly, governments understand that attracting the best private sector partners is impossible without transparent processes. And importantly, transparency is critical if the public is to accept a private sector role in government business. This awareness is growing, and slowly the tides are turning in favour of greater transparency.
Kenya’s example is telling. In recent years, Kenya has made PPPs a key element of its development strategy. Its goals are ambitious but achievable: under the Kenya Vision 2030 strategy, Kenya is to become a newly industrialized, middle-income country by 2030 and the private sector is an important part of reaching that goal.
The disclosure portal is a tool to provide stakeholders with information to help increase confidence that interactions with the private sector are fair, legitimate, and above board. Its purpose is also to discourage corruption and ensures that the public can voice any concerns about a given project.
The portal provides information at each stage of the PPP life cycle i.e. identification, design, procurement, signing, construction, and operation. This means that potential investors, communities, development partners, and Kenyan citizens have a way to know how private sector partners are selected and what results can be expected from PPP contracts.
In the long run, higher standards of transparency will enhance Kenya’s reputation as a reliable partner. It will also improves Kenya’s international standing as a leader in PPP transparency and information disclosure. Investors will be attracted by the better business environment that transparency is ushering in.
As a result, more financing from more sources will be mobilized urgently to improve infrastructure and services, leading to better roads, energy, agriculture, housing, and health. Experts are optimistic by that the new portal will boost the development of PPPs and infrastructure in the country.
Source; World Bank PPP Blog