Some of the challenges that governments in developing countries face include development of a business-friendly environment, a clear legal framework and strong public private partnerships (PPP) coordination and finance units.
As part of the East Africa Community (EAC) region, Tanzania needs to have in place workable social arrangements, which will enable the nation to compete well in the region given the availability of investment opportunities and resources.
In this regard, the PPPs are extremely important for good formulation and implementation of national policies for the betterment of the nation and people.
In Tanzania, the PPPs are regulated by the Public Private Partnership Act, 2011, which applies to all projects undertaken in partnership between the public and private sectors.
According to the Public Private Partnership Act, 2011, this partnership means an arrangement between a contracting authority and a private party in which the private party performs an institutional function on behalf of the institution, acquires the use of public property for its commercial purposes, assumes substantial financial, technical and operational risks in connection with the performance of the institutional function or use of state property and receives a benefit for performing the institutional function or from utilizing the public property.
“Every public private partnership project shall be monitored and evaluated by the contracting authority to ensure that the project is implemented in accordance with the agreement,” reads section 49(1) of the PPP Act.
Aisha Ally Sinda and Dr Wilbert Kapinga working with Mkono & Co Advocates say PPPs take various forms but usually involve a contractual relationship between a private party and a public entity to provide public services or develop public infrastructure.
This model, they note, is often used in large developmental projects such as in building roads, bridges and ports. They say the law sets up a co-ordination unit within the Tanzania Investment Centre, the function of which is to examine, assess and co-ordinate all PPP matters referred to it. The unit is also in charge of promoting and developing guidelines for PPPs.
They argue that before the law was enacted, Tanzania lacked a clear policy and legal and institutional framework to guide investors on how to carry out PPPs.
They say the law provides an institutional framework and sets out rules, guidelines and procedures governing public and private procurement and other related matters.
The PPP units need to be both willing and able to deliver projects, integrate the PPP approach into government policies, brief the market and educate the public sector on potential benefits arising from PPPs.
They cite the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), which has leased its container services terminal to a private sector operator – the Tanzania International Container Services Limited (TICTS) – for 10 years. The TICTS is based in Dar es Salaam and is a major logistics gateway to eastern, central and southern Africa. Dar es Salaam handles
more than 75 per cent of the country's trade and is the largest industrial and business centre in the country.
Tanzania Global Development Centre (TGDLC) in collaboration with Kenya Development Learning Centre (KDLC) has organised a practical training workshop on PPPs on April 23-27 at Institute of Finance Management (IFM), Dar es Salaam.
The workshop offers a practical solution to the needs of societies in developing countries.
Participants will be exposed to real PPP case studies from both developed and developing nations. It targets public sector finance advisers, policy specialists, who want to be at the forefront of PPP policy formulation and development of PPP implementation strategies, public sector managers and public sector negotiators.
The aim is to help participants overcome challenges in using PPPs as an infrastructure procurement option.
The workshop is part of a deliberate transfer of skills to public sector finance advisers, policy specialists, public sector managers and negotiators in developing countries.
The more we have well trainers and ethical senior managers and specialists, the more we are likely to develop our nation to a satisfactory level.
But to reach this stage, we need to work very hard - to make radical changes - and one way of doing so is through utilising capacity building programmes to increase managerial skills and knowledge for "knoweldge is power" and transforms people to deliver more.