Challenges in implementing public private partnership (ppp) projects in the road sector in Zambia

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Chilala, Namalala Raivy
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The University of Zambia
The uptake of Public – Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the road sector in Zambia has been limited, despite the government of the Republic of Zambia’s initiatives as far back as 2009 when the PPP Act was enacted. This study sought to find out the main challenges in the implementation process and to offer possible solutions. To achieve the objectives, the researcher used both the qualitative and quantitative approaches, comprising of a detailed literature review, semi-structured interview and questionnaire survey. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse the collected data. The study confirmed the prevalence of PPP implementation challenges in the road sector in Zambia. From 14 identified implementation challenges, the study found nine as significant and requiring attention. The three leading ones were: (1) non-financial viability of the concessions due to low traffic volume (70.6%); (2) lack of time, resources and knowledge in the implementing agencies (64.7%); and, (3) inconsistent and unclear PPP Policy (61.8%). Based on this research, possible solutions were: (i) implementing agencies to categorize the non-economically and economically viable toll roads and incentivize the former as part of the long-term solution; and, (ii) build capacity in all implementing agencies and/or create specialized ‘swat teams’ to work with implementing agencies on specific transactions as ‘quick wins’. Based on these results, two corresponding PPP Models were recommended to encourage investment in the road sector in Zambia: (i) the Design Finance Build and Transfer Model for non-economically viable projects and (ii) the Design Finance Build Operate and Transfer Model for economically viable projects. Keywords: Public – Private Partnerships, Implementation challenges, Zambia
Public partnerships--Zambia , Private partnership--Zambia , Public private partnership--Zambia