Rolling up our sleeves to make great PPPs in Angola

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PPP training in Angola by World Bank Infrastructure Finance, PPPs & Guarantees Public-private partnership training in Angola. Photo © World Bank

Despite officially adhering to an open market economy in 1992, Angola’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in every sector crowded out opportunities for private sector investment. State dependence meant Angola was unable to use its resources to their full potential, and this had a negative impact on citizens’ living conditions. Moreover, this position significantly stunted the emergence of the private sector, limiting economic growth and diversification. 

But this is changing. In recent years, the government has recognized the immense economic gains that the private sector offers, and they are actively working to give them space to be a true engine of economic growth. To this end, the government of Angola has drawn up an ambitious reform program for the public business sector that includes restructuring some SOEs, privatizing others, and developing public-private partnerships (PPPs). 

Important steps have been made to create the sound legal and regulatory environment with the passage of the PPP Law (in May 2019) and subsequent regulations. This legislation sets the broad framework for establishing the enabling environment for developing a PPP program in the country and a transparent, competitive process for procurement.

However, to fulfil the country’s ongoing investment needs, Angola will need to go beyond first-mover projects to establishing a PPP program that encourages active bidder and financing markets.  Implementing a PPP program successfully requires: commitment and consistency in the application of rules; a range of skills and expertise, and balancing interests from different stakeholders. Establishing strong PPP frameworks and institutions communicates government's commitment to PPPs and fosters efficiency and accountability in their governance.

The World Bank and the IFC are supporting the government in this reform process and in putting its new PPP framework into action by building the institutions, supporting the development of projects to be taken through the new process, and building capacity across government through training and learning-by-doing. It’s truly exciting work, the results of which we expect to observe in nearly real-time.

Last month, the World Bank facilitated the first PPP fundamentals training in Angola, attended by nearly 40 middle and high-level staff from sector ministries.  A wide range of relevant players within the government spent four days in the training to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to take projects through the various stages of the PPP project lifecycle: identification and screening, business case preparation, procurement, and implementation. A unique aspect of the course was its South-South knowledge exchange: it was delivered by the Brazilian firm Radar PPP, accredited by APMG to provide the training, who shared practical experience from their work.

It’s critical to note that PPPs are not a panacea and need to be carefully prepared to ensure that they deliver value , so this training was instrumental in ensuring a common understanding of PPPs, and the challenges and opportunities in private sector service delivery. As Sergio dos Santos, Minister of Economy and Planning, stated in his opening remarks for the workshop, PPPs need to offer value for money as well as value for people—and he highlighted the need for learning new skills to deliver such results.

Noting that the training comes at a good time, Joaquina Ndulo from the Angolan Insurance Supervision Agency applauded and appreciated the government’s commitment to ensuring that PPPs are well done and in accordance with international business practices.

Carlos Paim, CEO of the government’s agriculture asset holding company GESTERRA, also recognized the importance of training. Now, he said, participants have some clarity on how to prepare the instruments needed to plan for the PPPs in the most effective way possible.

Personally, we were impressed by the commitment of the participants to the course and the level of lively debate and discussion on how the course content would apply in the Angolan context. All the participants worked late into the evening with trainers and to study for the final exam.

Creating this nucleus of PPP-enabled government officials will certainly contribute to accelerating Angola's program and potentially lead to better quality transactions. 

The attending officials had a high pass rate on the Foundation-level PPP Certification exam. It’s not surprising given their enthusiasm, the efforts they put into study over the intense four days, and their commitment to knowing everything that can help them reach the full potential impact of PPPs on the country. The certification is recognized across the world, and more than 4,300 candidates have taken the Foundation exam to date in more 21 countries. 

Developed by the World Bank Group in partnership with other development banks and funded by the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), the certification program is part of the World Bank’s broader offering of resources and tools that help governments get PPPs right. The training was funded by Angola’s Ministry of Finance and PPIAF.


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This blog is managed by the Infrastructure Finance, PPPs & Guarantees Group of the World Bank. Learn more about our work here.



Olivier Lambert

Country Manager, Angola

Wilson Piassa

External Affairs Associate, Angola

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