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Public-private partnership and public policy in Africa

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submitted on 2023-09-12, 07:15 and posted on 2023-09-13, 09:05 authored by Joseph Okeyo Obosi

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have risen from an emerging alternative form of service delivery in the 1990s to Africa’s core public service delivery model. It has covered all sectors, and at times it has been seen as a solution to public sector reform failures. Unfortunately, like most models of public service delivery or policy tools it has not succeeded in reversing the losses in all cases. The diferences in the application of PPP strategy have ranged from model, duration, responsibility to purposes for which it has been set, leading to diferent ex-pectations. In some instances, even the conceptualization of the PPP has been quite diferent hence bringing prejudice to the expectations. It would not be strange to see policy actors treat PPP as privatization, therefore unrealistic expectations. These are some of the perceptions that have brought to question the policies surrounding PPP. Should it be done at the sectoral level or the macro level? Should it be a top-down or bottom-up approach? Irrespective of the approach used, it is noteworthy that PPP has come in as an alternative after Public and Private Service delivery systems. To understand these dynamics, I present a comparative analysis of the existing literature on PPPs to address the question of what works and why. Doing so looks at diferent conceptualizations of PPP and the experience of PPP in the water sector in Africa. In the next section, I will delve into the conceptualization of PPP and PPP policies. This is followed by a discussion on the policy efectiveness of the PPP model in water management in diferent countries across Africa, the accruing challenges, and conclusions.

Other Information

Published in: Routledge Handbook of Public Policy in Africa
See article on publisher's website:



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2021

License statement

This chapter is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Public Policy - HBKU

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