Public Private Partnerships (PPP) Capacity Building Training for the ECOWAS Region

Introduction

In July 2021, Cybiant was selected as the training provider for the World Bank to provide the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) Capacity Building Training for the ECOWAS Region.

The ECOWAS or the Economic Community of West African States was established in the year 1975 via the treaty of Lagos. The ECOWAS consists of 15 member countries which are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’ Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo.

Considered one of the pillars of the African Economic Community, ECOWAS was set up to foster the ideal of collective self-sufficiency for its member states. As a trading union, it is also meant to create a single, large trading bloc through economic cooperation. The ECOWAS has also created an integrated region where the population enjoys free movement, have access to efficient education and health systems and engage in economic and commercial activities while living in dignity in an atmosphere of peace and security.

Background of the Project

In the region, efforts have been made in harmonizing macroeconomic policies and private sector promotion towards achieving economic integration. The Public Private Partnerships (PPP) scheme is an effective way of managing and promoting the cooperation between the public and private sectors for the purpose of reaching a common goal.

The Public-Private Partnerships concept relies on the idea that the public and private sectors each have certain advantages relative to others in performing a certain task together. With PPP, the public sector can have access to private sector finance and private sector skills and at the same time transferring risk to the private sector. The Public Private Partnerships (PPP) model can be used in infrastructure development such as hospitals, schools and road or to develop better public services for the people in the region such as healthcare and education system.

Against the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic slowdown, there is indeed an urgent need for investment and accelerated collaboration with the private sector. Whilst only five African countries accounted for more than 50% of all successful PPP activity from 2008 to 2018, two of those champions are in ECOWAS: Nigeria and Ghana. At the same time several other countries like Burkina Faso have multiple PPPs in the pipeline.  A regional approach for capacity building will allow participants from various ECOWAS countries to learn from each other’s achievements and mistakes.

Cybiant’s Public-Private-Partnership Services

Cybiant was selected by the World Bank to provide training on PPPs to ECOWAS Member States’ officials based on the terms and principles set out in the PPP Guide. The PPP Guide focuses specifically on privately-financed PPPs and other PPP best practices for emerging markets and developing economies. In the course of 3 months, Cybiant delivered the virtual training for all 3 levels of the APMG PPP Certification Program which consists of the PPP Foundation, PPP Preparation and PPP Execution. The topics covered in the overall training program includes:

  • PPP introduction and overview
  • Establishing a PPP Framework
  • Project identification and PPP screening
  • Appraisal PPP projects
  • Structuring and drafting the tender and contract
  • Tendering and awarding the contract
  • Strategy, delivery and commissioning
  • Operations and hand-back

Besides teaching the topics from the PPP guide, our trainers also shared their professional experience handling and managing PPP projects in other developing countries. The knowledge sharing session has proven to be invaluable to our students as they get to understand how they can apply some of the best practices and concepts from the guide for their own PPP projects.

Over the course of a three-month program, 50 delegates from ECOWAS member states were selected to patriated in the program, which was conducted over a 3-month period. Even though the member were geographically dispersed, the centralized Learning Management System of Cybiant (CybiantLMS) provided a suitable outcome. Chris Appiah, Head, Maritime Transport & Corridors at ECOWAS Commission explains:

“We had 50 delegates from 15 member states that participated in this program, and for some participants English was not the first language. Coordinating between all the participants was logistically challenging. The CybiantLMS really provided an outcome for this. Through the LMS, everyone could participate, make progress on their own, or watch back a recording if they were not able to follow the training live. I am quite certain that the training would have great difficulties organizing this program without Cybiant. They did an excellent job.”

To accommodate the busy schedules of the member states, a blended training approach was chosen with 2x 2-hour sessions over 3-week periods per training. After the training course, participants received a week to prepare for the official PPP examination, which was also conducted online by Cybiant invigilators.

Irene Addo-Dankwah, Head of PPP Unit at Ministry of Finance Ghana, shares her experience:

“I like every aspect of the course as this is my second time I have participate in such training since I joined the Public Private Partnership Unit. The explanations were cleared as well as the notes and I personally enjoyed module 5 of the course -Basic Structure of PPP Projects. I also want to thank Jan for all his support during the program.”

Results: PPP Capacity Building

Cybiant completed the program in line with the Terms of Reference of the World Bank and the Ecowas Commission. As part of the capacity building program, the following results were achieved:

  • 50 delegates from 15 different countries were certified at Foundation Level
  • 28 delegates from 12 different countries were certified at Preparation Level
  • 23 delegates from 13 different countries were certified at Execution Level

Chris Appiah, Head, Maritime Transport & Corridors at ECOWAS Commission, summarizes their experience with Cybiant:

“Cybiant could not have done a better job. There were extremely focused on planning and  clearly have a professional approach. The guided us very well through this complicated program.”

For more information or questions about the PPP Capacity Building, please contact us at: info@cybiant.com

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