« Kribi is a laboratory for several PPP schemes»
Sir, what should take home at the end of the discussions of the panel in which you took part?
In the midst of this panel of experts, we understood that our contribution should boil down to sharing the achievements that are taking place at the Port Authority of Kribi. It should be noted that this port is a model in terms of public/private partnership (PPP). Indeed, the decision to operate under the PPP regime was made since the launch of the Kribi deep-sea port construction project. The concession activity for the management of the port, especially the container sector. Today, it has become a reality. The private party shares the investment and operation while the public party takes care of all the structures, quays, breakwaters, superstructures and buildings. The Port of Kribi has finally developed several PPP schemes. After the works of Phase I, practically financed by the State alone, here come the construction sites of Phase II, in which concession holders are already involved in the investment. Several projects are planned in the second phase and we believe that the private sector should take over the entire financing of these construction works. Furthermore, we have an economic zone where we see investments more in terms of sharing risks and responsibilities. That is to say, as I pointed out earlier, that the port of Kribi is a laboratory for several PPP schemes.
What were PAK expectations when attending this forum?
I must point out at the outset that PAK was very well represented. I was there with several of my colleagues. A setting like this is a place to share experiences. For PAK, which is only a year and a half into operation, it is normal and important to interact with more experienced structures. Our aim was also to make sure that we comply with the rules in our activities and operations. Finally, we also wanted to acquire some good practices.
In practical terms, what did you learn from exchanges with other countries?
The words from some countries such as Côte d'Ivoire were reassuring. We learn that over there, private stakeholders account for about 60% of investments. This is a good example for our country, which wants to move in that direction. As the IFC representative said, the prerequisite is to carefully prepare the projects. Too often, we present immature projects to donors. With private partners, we will have to structure things better. Fortunately, the government has realized this and is going down that very road, with the establishment of project maturation committees.