Parliament: Cameroon Banks on Public-Private Partnerships for Emergence

Cameroon is working on attaining emergence by 2035, with infrastructural projects needed to back its status. In this regard, the government has tabled a bill in parliament to lay down the general regime of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) contracts to foster development. 

The Minister of the Economy, Alamine Ousmane Mey defended the bill before members of the Committee on Economic Affairs at the National Assembly this Wednesday June 14, 2023. 

He said the bill reflects the government’s resolve to diversify its funding sources for the construction of development infrastructure. 

Content and Context of the Bill 

This bill seeks to update the current legal and regulatory framework for partnership contracts. Its drafting was prompted by the mixed results of the assessment of the implementation of partnership contracts in Cameroon to lay down the rules and regulations governing partnership contracts.

The bill further seeks to meet the structural benchmarks of the fourth review of the Economic and Financial Programme (EFP) conducted in the country at end- December 2022 by the IMF.

This new legal framework for public-private partnership (PPP) contracts was developed using a participatory approach through national and strategic consultations by the government, in conjunction with technical and financial partners.

The also seeks to adopt international PPP standards, thus enabling Cameroon to make the most of this project funding method for the implementation of the National Development Strategy 2020-2030 (NDS 30).

The bill reflects the government’s resolve to diversify its funding sources for the construction of development infrastructure, by making PPPs an effective alternative to traditional funding based on the State budget.
Alamine Ousmane Mey

Innovations Proposed by the Bill

– Clarifies the role of the expert body, the National Partnership Contracts Support Council in the structuring, procurement and monitoring of PPPs. 

– strengthens the role of the Prime Minister as the High Authority for public-private partnership contracts;

– extends the scope of PPPs to Regional and Local Authorities, public enterprises and establishments.

– creates a paradigm shift by consolidating the user-paid PPPs, not including partnerships governed by sector-specific laws such as the electricity, water, petroleum, gas and mining sectors, to safeguard the specific nature of some economic sectors.

Different Forms of Contracts 

This bill institutes 3 main types of partnership contracts:

– Government-paid Public-Private Partnership contracts

– User-paid Public-Private Partnership contracts;

– Mixed Payment Public-Private Partnership contracts.

The ratification of this bill will fast track the development process as it will engage more public and private actors working of the same goals. 

Bruno Ndonwie Funwie

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