There are many advantages to pooling general expertise on PPPs in a central PPP Unit, and indeed in sharing knowledge and experience across COMESA, and the larger continent. Some line ministries (again telecommunications, and energy) may have become quite smart at designing PPPs but where deal flow is slower, transactions have to be designed and advised one at a time, with preparations being very expensive and time-consuming. The most successful PPP Units are often attached, especially in countries with weaker governance, to Ministries of Finance or a strong Planning Ministry where they hold sway, crucially, over financial due diligence in addition to other key functions. Key functions of a PPP Unit include: (i) being a centre of cross-cutting technical, project management and financial expertise; (ii) gathering and disseminating information and performance indicators; (iii) designing and rolling out training to line ministries and sub-national governments as necessary, and so on.
A regional approach to infrastructure PPPs in COMESA would have significant benefits.