Friday, November 28, 2008

(TIMES) Banda launches vehicle to development

Banda launches vehicle to development
By Times Reporter

THE Government has launched the national Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy that will accelerate development, bring about modern infrastructural development and provide more readily accessible services.

Speaking during the launch at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka yesterday, President Rupiah Banda said the PPPs would also strengthen the private sector’s participation in economic development.

The PPP is a new approach under which Government institutions would partner with the private sector in the procurement of works and services for the benefit of the general public.

The policy would facilitate an inclusive approach to the development process of Zambia in which all stakeholders would participate.

In a speech read on his behalf, by Vice-President George Kunda, Mr Banda directed Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane to drive the process and ensure that the PPP unit was set up

He said he expected that the necessary legal and institutional arrangements would be finalised as soon as possible in order to ensure that the rewards of the programme were realised.

Mr Banda urged all Government institutions to identify projects or areas, in which PPPs could be pioneered so that they could be processed.

Mr Banda said the Government was committed to pursuing the reform process aggressively in order to achieve economic growth and create wealth for the people in a shortest possible time.

He said the PPPs would have a tremendous positive impact on the way business was conducted in Zambia.

He said Zambia’s strategic location on the continent made it possible for the country to be a hub for various regional infrastructure links such as transport, energy and telecommunications.

Mr Banda urged the Government ministries and agencies to immediately explore PPP opportunities for implementation in their areas and to market them to potential investors.

Mr Banda said the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) should make efforts to collaborate with the PPP unit in promoting various projects.

He challenged the private sector to come forward with their money and invest in infrastructure development sector.

“You (the private sector) know as well as I do that by bringing you in, we aim and hope to enhance efficiency, productivity and increased value for money,” he said.

Mr Banda said dialogue between the public and private sectors should continue and improve as they continued to discover common ground and areas of collaboration.

Dr Musokotwane said he accepted the responsibility of ensuring that PPPs were undertaken in a professional and effective manner.

Dr Musokotwane said in a speech read on his behalf by Finance and National Planning Deputy Minister, Chileshe Kapwepwe that the ministry would proceed with relevant measures for the establishment of a PPP unit to manage the process.

He said PPPs had great potential for increasing investment flows in the country despite the dark shadow cast by the global financial crisis.

Works and Supply Minister Mike Mulongoti said the PPP policy was formulated to confirm the Government’s commitment to private sector involvement in the delivery of infrastructure and related services.

Mr Mulongoti said the PPP would facilitate a platform for formal arrangements between the public and private sectors to conduct business in an equitable manner.

Mr Mulongoti said the PPP policy was formulated in a very transparent and participatory manner.

“A very comprehensive consultative process was undertaken in which stakeholders countrywide were involved,” he said.

Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Felix Mutati said public resources were not sufficient to carry out all developmental projects hence the need for the private sector to come on board.

Mr Mutati said viable projects were better done with the support of the private sector.

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