A study on the effectiveness of Ghana’s Public, Private Partnership policy has concluded that the policy has been politicised.
An affiliation to a politician or district chief executive in the choice of the private partner has been documented to be key considerations.
Additionally, there is a lack of transparency in the process of getting the private investor/partner and in the processes of implementing projects, while beneficiaries of such projects were also found to be skewed towards those who were affiliated to politicians.
The publication, which is the result of a qualitative study on the subject matter, is entitled: “Public private partnerships in Ghana: Interrogating the efficacy of a politically convenient practice”, and was launched in Accra last Friday.
The study was carried out by a Senior Lecturer of the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, Dr Seidu Alidu, and published by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), the German social democratic not-for-profit organisation.
Dr Alidu, in the presentation of the highlights of the study, said a PPP mapping to find out communities in which such projects were at various stages of completion was first drawn up.
Focus group discussions and key informant interviews were then conducted with community members, local authorities, those in the private sector, market women and some beneficiaries.
The responses showed that apart from the politicisation of the policy and the lack of transparency, such projects were also often sole-sourced and did not go through any competitive bidding procedures.
The guidelines on the PPP developed by the government were also not decentralised to fit the local need in the development project, the study found.
Therefore, local authorities used their intuition in making decisions on such projects.
The study also found and documented challenges with land administration and ownership.
Dr Alidu said some investors interviewed had to battle with demands for money and demands on whose right it was to carry on with the contract, from the local authorities and chiefs.
He said local authorities interviewed on projects were also not open with the costs.
Dr Alidu, in his recommendation, urged the capacity building of local authorities for them to skilfully conduct value-for-money analyses on such projects.
He urged the depoliticisation of the policy, as in the study they had come across a few good practices where the policy had been used for the intended purpose of delivering development goods and services fairly.
Ghana Schools Project
A representative of a coalition of teacher unions and associations made up of GNAT, NAGRAT, TEWU and the Coalition of Concerned Teaches Association who are against the privatisation and commercialisation of public schools, Mr Samuel Frank Dadzie, in his presentation on the Ghana Partnership Schools (GPS), a policy by the government, said it was a form of the PPP in education.