Dentons would like to thank Louisa Gibbs from Geni & Kebe for this month’s contribution to the Africa section of the Dentons SA Newsletter. Louisa discusses the current momentum of PPPs in Senegal, on the westernmost tip of Africa.

1. Public Private Partnerships are the “Main pillar of the Plan Senegal Emergent”.

The Plan Senegal Emergent (PSE) is the country’s strategic plan for development and economic growth over the next decade. The PSE aims to position the country as an economic and infrastructure hub for West Africa in agro-industry, energy, construction, logistics, mining, road and rail-road transportation, and tourism. The PSE envisages the private sector as a key partner in achieving these goals, placing PPPs at the centre of the strategic planning.

2. There is a solid legal and regulatory framework to support PPPs in Senegal.

With the aim of unrolling a number of ambitious projects through a PPP model, the Government of Senegal has put in place a solid legal and regulatory framework (including Decree 09/2014 of February 2014 on Partnership Agreements). There is also a Ministry of Investment Promotion and Partnership, a National PPP Committee and a PPP Unit.

3. PPPs are only limited by your imagination!

A common initial reaction to PPPs is that it is a model to be used for infrastructure projects – roads and ports and power stations. However, the Senegalese Government envisages – and has created enabling legislation for – PPPs in diverse sectors such as agriculture, education and health. Planned PPPs for which the Government is currently seeking investment include an iron ore mine, the development of tourist sites and agriculture projects, alongside more traditional PPP projects such as construction of government universities and the creation of a seawater desalination unit.

4. The business environment is improving.

Following the 2014 amendments to commercial procedure in 2014, Senegal leaped an impressive 10 places in the World Bank’s 2015 Ease of Doing Business rankings.

5. Finally, there are powerful ethical grounds to think about investing in Senegal.

If making a tangible difference with your investment is a driver, then investors can be assured that PPPs in Senegal have a positive impact on the well-being of some of the world’s poorest people. Senegal is ranked 170 out of 187 countries on the UN’s Human Development Index. This puts it in the category of “low human development”. Large-scale PPP projects can improve access to services and increase economic opportunities for the country’s population. PPPs result in better roads, improved electricity supply, strengthened agriculture value chains and the opening of new markets. With these initiatives, the Senegalese can continue to look forward to engaging more fully in economic, political and social life.