Mugure Njendu, the esteemed President of the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK), has called upon local professionals to elevate their skills and understanding of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). In a compelling address at a PPP masterclass seminar organized by BCDIP, the training division of Howard Aidevo Consulting, Njendu underscored the significance of comprehending the legal, fundraising, and procurement aspects of PPPs. Without adequate knowledge in these areas, local projects run the risk of being deemed insurmountable or entrusted to foreign contractors.

The seminar served as a convergence point for 100 professionals from various disciplines such as architecture, engineering, quantity surveying, and procurement. The primary objective was to address the challenges encountered in PPP processes. Mugure emphasized the need for local professionals to grasp the intricacies of designing successful PPPs, enabling them to actively participate in PPP projects spanning energy, transportation, and social sectors.

During the 6th Annual Devolution Conference in March, Joseph Ogutu, the Chief Special Projects Officer of Safaricom, issued a resounding call to the private sector, urging its embrace of PPPs. However, the private sector in Kenya has exhibited reluctance to engage in such partnerships due to the complexities experienced throughout various stages of project execution.

Rose Kananu, the accomplished Managing Director of Howard Aidevo, commented on the rapid growth of infrastructure in Kenya, acknowledging the need to bridge the gaps in capacity, skills, and knowledge surrounding the PPP process. This extends to the legal, financial, and commercial aspects that underpin successful PPPs. It is through addressing these gaps that the growth of infrastructure in the country can be sustained effectively.

Despite significant annual allocations for infrastructure and social services, Kenya still faces a significant disparity between the demand for critical services, such as hospitals and prisons, and the government's financial capacity to finance such investments. In light of the African Development Bank's (AfDB) projection of a 30% economic growth rate for African economies by 2040, locally initiated PPPs present a domestic solution to this challenge.

Dr. Eustace Mwarania, Chairman of Trapos Africa and the Likoni Cable Express Project, emphasized that while adopting global best practices is essential, local professionals must also be empowered to address a crucial aspect often overlooked in PPP success: securing appropriate project financing and management expertise. By equipping local professionals with these critical skills, Kenya can unlock the full potential of PPPs and drive sustainable infrastructure development.