News (171)

Can public-private partnerships deliver gender equality?

On the eve of International Women's Day, a new report “Can Public-private Partnerships deliver gender equality?” was released by a European Network on Debt and Development (EURODAD). The report says: "PPPs are being actively promoted by donor governments and international financial institutions to fund social services and infrastructure projects around the world. However, support for PPPs runs counter to governments’ commitments to promote gender equality and the fullfilment of women’s rights under Agenda 2030 and elsewhere ". This report aims to contribute to the growing civil society debate about PPPs and describes how they could create additional fiscal constraints that undermine the state’s capacity to deliver gender-transformative public services and infrastructure, or to promote decent work for women.


The question of privatizing state-owned refineries is a central dividing line in the elections 2019

The Financial Times reports that the question of privatizing state-owned refineries was a central dividing line in the 16 February election of the President, Vice President and National Assembly. The incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari’s “focus is state-led growth and his plan is to form public-private partnerships to revive the refineries.” Atiku Abubakar, his main rival, “plans to sell off the refineries. The 72-year-old made his fortune in the oil and gas business before leading the country’s patchy privatisation drive as vice-president in the 2000s.”


Privatization scheme bribery case ends with guilty plea on least serious charge

A series of criminal trials over a bribery scandal over a P3 privatization scheme ended last week with people admitting that $22.5 million in bribes were paid, but with no one being convicted of actually paying them. For those naïve enough to believe that the justice system does a good job of policing the privatization industry, it was a very bad week.

Source: PSI

LDF joins protest against airport privatization

In Kerala, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has launched “an indefinite protest against the move to privatize the Trivandrum International Airport” on “the closing day of the submission of bids to select private players for the operations, management and development of the airport. Trivandrum international airport is among the six airports, proposed to be given on lease by the central government on private-public partnership model (PPP) model. The protest conducted at the domestic terminal of the airport was inaugurated by LDF state convener A Vijayaraghavan.”The central government, “having failed repeatedly to partially privatise the Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports, with sweetening of conditions proving inadequate for investment,” has “changed tack and opted for the public private partnership (PPP) model to redevelop the Ahmedabad, Jaipur and four other airports.” Brookfield and Macquarie are among the global investors eyeing Indian airports.

Source: The Times of India

The Nigeria Labour Congress will resist any attempt to privatize the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) will resist any attempt to sell the nation’s refineries or privatize the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). President of Congress, Ayuba Wabba emphasized that “since the privatization of electricity distribution, Nigerians are yet to see the fulfilment of promises of efficient service delivery. Instead, the electricity situation has gone worse with chronic failures by DISCOs to supply prepaid meters, exploitation of Nigerians through estimated billings and reluctance to attend to basic complaints.

Source: The Nation Nigeria

Saudi Arabia’s new ‘public-private partnership’ law

Hogan Lovells, a major international law firm, is pointing to Saudi Arabia’s new ‘public-private partnership’ law and saying deals are on the way. “An increased number of public-private partnership (PPP) projects will get off the ground around the region, with a growing focus on renewables, transportation, education and healthcare. The impact of key market regulations will become clearer as they are approved and implemented: PPP law in Saudi Arabia and possibly Oman; Foreign Investment Law in UAE and Qatar.” (p. 5)


Summit against water privatization gathers in Abuja

Global activists, unionists and human rights advocates will meet in Abuja, on 29-30 January for a national summit that aims at achieving the human right to water in Nigeria and around the world. Participants will come from communities around the world which have been directly impacted by the damages caused by private water industry.

Source: PSI

Hospital PPPs Undermine Healthcare

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, and substantial opposition from community groups, public-private partnerships (PPPs) are still being promoted to deliver sustainable development. Public-private hospital partnerships are supposed to ensure that the private sector will offer much needed efficiency in healthcare provision. The authors of the analytical article “Hospital PPPs Undermine Healthcare” refer to the resonant history, which has happened with the Northern Beaches Hospital, a PPP between the New South Wales government and Healthscope. They emphasize that “any government considering healthcare PPPs should be aware of the Australian experience”.


Privatization is part of the ongoing assault on democracy

Donald Cohen, the executive director of In the Public Interest, warns that privatization is eroding democracy. “When corporations take control of public goods like water, transit, and schools, we give them the ability to make decisions that should be made democratically by us, the public. (…) Many ‘public-private partnerships’ take decision-making power away from the public, like Virginia’s Beltway toll lanes contract, which actually requires the government to pay investors if too many people carpool.”

Source: Medium

World Bank may invest in Belarus’ railway sector

The World Bank is considering possible avenues of investment in Belarus’ railway industry, including via public private partnership mechanisms. “The plans were discussed as a group of World Bank specialists met with top officials of the National Agency of Investment and Privatization (NAIP) and representatives of the Economy Ministry, BelTA has learned. NAIP Acting Director Denis Meleshkin presented Belarus’ first public private partnership project. The project envisages the reconstruction of part of the M10 motorway. It has already been approved by the government. A tender to choose the private partner will be organized as the next step.”


“Treasury's Office of Technical Assistance helped governments strengthen public-private partnerships to finance infrastructure development”

In testimony before the U.S. Congress, Under Secretary for International Affairs David Malpass tells lawmakers that “in Colombia, Indonesia and Uganda, Treasury's Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) helped governments strengthen public-private partnerships to finance infrastructure development in ways that mobilize private capital.”



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