Tackling the infrastructure gap in Zambia

03 May 2016

Zambia plans to embark on a programme of PPP project development across a range of sectors, pursuant to the country's PPP Act and supported by its PPP implementing institutions. In order to help prepare contracting authorities and developers/investors for upcoming procurements, a team of Gowling WLG's projects experts, led by partner Jonathan Brufal, were invited to deliver training to the Zambian Government and the private sector.

Jonathan Brufal, senior associate Tom Gray (both of our Dubai office) and principal associate James Bruce from the UK, flew to Lusaka to deliver PPP training geared towards helping various government ministries, the PPP Unit, Council and Technical Committee, as well as members of the private sector, understand how to formulate, develop and procure PPP projects as a means of closing the country's infrastructure gap and energy deficit.

Zambia enacted a PPP Act in 2008, yet to date has procured only one PPP under the legislation. Having reorganised its PPP Unit into the State House, it is now looking to procure PPPs in a number of sectors, including roads, energy, health, IT and education. The Government is also encouraging the private sector in Zambia to invest in and develop PPPs.

The British High Commission in Zambia knew of our Africa Projects team because of the work they had done in Rwanda, structuring the country's first publicly procured PPP. Contact was made with the Deputy High Commissioner and the prosperity team in Zambia to discuss offering some PPP training.

The team ran a two-day workshop for more than a hundred delegates from various Government ministries and the private sector. The training was linked to the Zambian PPP Act and the provisions it makes regarding the feasibility and procurement of PPPs and evaluation and negotiating of PPP agreements. The culmination of the training was an interactive risk allocation workshop, and an open panel discussion featuring Jonathan and members of the PPP Unit.  

Jonathan said, "It was great to work with Zambia's PPP Unit and help the Ministries it supports understand the benefits of this type of project. PPPs are a great source of investment for developing countries, and Zambia has all the systems in place - we've just helped them understand the practicalities of running a PPP process. Now we have established a relationship with the various PPP institutions in the country we would like to continue to work together, and are also well placed to advise our private sector clients who are looking to invest in the country".

The team ran a further training day for members of the PPP Unit, PPP Council and PPP Technical Committee, being the separate bodies created by the PPP Act and charged with carrying out PPP approval and procurement in Zambia. This was a more technical training day, covering agreements, financing and good procurement.

If you're interested in the provision of PPP training, or would like advice or recommendations around investing in, or developing a business in, East and sub-Saharan Africa, our Africa Projects team is happy to help.  As part of our commitment to develop our African practice, and strengthen relationships with our partner firms in the region, we are currently seconding a lawyer to a firm in Nairobi.  To find out more, please contact Jonathan Brufal, or Tom Gray. 

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Dawn Beddard Corporate Communications Manager

+44 (0)121 393 0034