Private Financing for Infrastructural Development: A Search for Determinants in Public–Private Partnerships in SSA


  • Zakaria Chikaza National University of Science and Technology
  • Munacinga Simatele University of Fort Hare


Public-private Partnerships; private sector; infrastructure; investment; Sub-Saharan Africa


Understanding the determinants of Public-Private Partnerships remains a priority for policy makers in sub-Saharan Africa as leveraging on private sector resources and expertise to deliver public infrastructure projects is gaining appeal. However, due to uncertainty and ambiguity surrounding empirical approaches to private sector investments, public-private partnerships determinants in the region are still poorly understood. The study applies Extreme Bounds Analysis and Logit regressions to identify critical determinants of public-private partnerships using unbalanced panel data covering 40 sub-Saharan African countries from 1995 to 2020. Regression results identify five key variables (Regulatory Quality, Population, Gross Domestic Product, Foreign Direct Investment, and Government Spending) as positive significant determinants of infrastructure investments flows in sub-Saharan Africa. The implications of these results indicate ardent need for sub-Saharan African countries to promote prudent policies around these key drivers to promote private sector investments in the region.


Achour, H. & Belloumi, M. (2016). Investigating the causal relationship between transport infrastructure, transport energy consumption and economic growth in Tunisia. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 56, 988-998. doi: 10.1016/j.rser.2015.12.023.

AfDB (2016). The Africa Infrastructure Development Index (AIDI). African Development Bank, Tunis.

AfDB (2018). Financing Africa’ s Infrastructure Development Policy Brief 2015 Priority Action Plan by Region, 17(Vii), 1–7.

African Union (2014), Programme for infrastructure development in Africa (PIDA): addressing the infrastructure gap in Africa, to speed up regional integration, Seventh Conference of African Ministers in Charge of Integration, 14–18 July, Swaziland.

Agnieszka, K. & Roman, A. (2019). Fiscal and political determinants of local government involvement in public-private partnership (PPP), Local Government Studies, 45:6, 957-976, DOI: 10.1080/03003930.2019.1635016.

Ahmad, E. (2018). Involving the Private Sector and PPPs in Financing Public Investments. G24-GGGI Infrastructure Working Paper, No. 5. in: E. Ahmad, M. Niu and K. Xiao.
Fiscal Underpinnings for Sustainable Development in China – Rebalancing in Guangdong. Springer, pp. 123-162.

Alesina, A., Arnaud, De., Easterly, W., Sergio, K. & Wacziarg,R. (2013). Fractionalization,
Journal of Economic Growth, Vol. 8, pp. 155−94.

ATAF (2020). African Tax Outlook 2019, African Tax Administration Forum.

AU/AUDA-NEPAD/AfDB (2021). African Heads of States and Governments adopt the second phase of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA PAP 2) and the Africa Single Electricity Market (AfSEM),

AUC/OECD (2019). Africa’s Development Dynamics 2019: Achieving Productive Transformation, OECD Publishing, Paris/AUC, Addis Ababa,

Ba, L. & Farid, G. (2010). Is the Level of Financial Sector Development a Key Determinant of Private Investment in the Power Sector? World Bank Policy Research Working Paper WPS5373.

Banerjee, S. & Malik. K. (2016). Africa Power and Agriculture in Africa Double Dividend: Power and Agriculture Nexus in Sub-Saharan Africa. Report No. ACS19337, World Bank, Washington, DC.

Bas, M. (2014). Infrastructure PPP investments in Emerging Markets, 1–24.

Boyer, E. J. (2016). Identifying a knowledge management approach for public-private partnerships. Public Performance & Management Review, 40, 158-180.

Boyer, E. J. & Scheller. D.S. (2018). An Examination of State-Level Public–Private Partnership Adoption: Analyzing Economic, Political, and Demand-Related Determinants of PPPs. Public Works Management and Policy 23 (1): 5–33. doi:10.1177/1087724X17729097.

Briceno-Garmendia C., Estache, A. & Shafik,N. (2004). Infrastructure Services in Developing Countries: Access, Quality, Costs and Policy Reform. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 3468, The World Bank, Washington D.C.

Briceno-Garmendia, C. (2010). Fiscal Costs of Infrastructure Provision: A Practitioner’s Guide. AICD, Working Paper, World Bank, Washington, D.C.

Buso, M. F. & Tran P. T. (2017). Public Private Partnership from Budget Constraints: Looking for Debt Hiding? International Journal of Industrial Organization 51: 56–84. doi: 10.1016/j.ijindorg.2016.12.002.

Calderon, C. (2016). Infrastructure and Growth in Africa, Policy Research Working Paper 4914, the World Bank, Washington, D.C.

Calderon, C., Cantu, C. & Chuhan-Pole, P. (2018). Infrastructure Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Scorecard. Policy Research Working Paper; No. 8425. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.

Calderon, C., Moral‐Benito, E. & Serven, L. (2015). Is Infrastructure Capital Productive? A Dynamic Heterogeneous Approach. Journal of Applied Econometrics 30 (2): 177–98.

Cantu, C. (2017). Defining Infrastructure and Its Effect on Economic Growth. Equilibrio Económico, Revista de Economía, Política y Sociedad 13 (1): 77–104.

Chingwete, A., Felton,J. & Carolyn, L. (2019). Prerequisite for progress: Accessible, reliable power still in short supply across Africa,

Forrer, J., Kee, E., Newcomer., E. & Boyer, E. (2007). Public-Private Partnerships and the Public Accountability Question. Public Administration Review, 70, no. 3: 475-484.

Gidado, K. (2010). PFI Implementation and Evaluation Model for Developing Economics: Example of Nigeria. Proceedings of the 2010 International Conference on Engineering, Project and Production Management, 181-192.

Hammami, M. J., Ruhashyankiko, F. & Yehoue, E. (2006). Determinants of Public–Private Partnerships in Infrastructure. IMF Working Paper W/06/99.

Harris, C. (2003). Foreign direct investment in infrastructure in developing countries: Does regulation make a difference? Transnational Corporations, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2003, pp. 143-171.

Hellowell, M. (2019). Are public–private partnerships the future of healthcare delivery in sub-Saharan Africa? Lessons from Lesotho. BMJ Glob Health 2019;4: e001217. doi:10.1136/ bmjgh-2018-001217.

Hlavac, M. (2016). Extreme Bounds: Extreme Bounds Analysis in R. Journal of Statistical Software, 72(9), 1-22. doi:10.18637/jss. v072.i09.

ICA (2017). Infrastructure Financing Trends in Africa – 2016, The Infrastructure Consortium forAfrica,Abidjan.

ICA (2019). Infrastructure Financing Trends in Africa 2018, Infrastructure Consortium for Africa,

International Finance Corporation (2018). Lesotho: new public–private partnership set to boost access to health care for the poor, 2010.Available: http://www. worldbank. org/ en/ news/ feature/ 2010/ 06/ 22/ lesotho- new- public- private- partnership- set- to- boost- access- tohealth- care- for- the- poor [Accessed Dec 2018].

IEA (2018). World Energy Outlook 2018, IEA, Paris,

IMF (2021). Fiscal Monitor Database of Country Fiscal Measures in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic,

IMF (2018). Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa, Staying the Course. InternationalMonetaryFund(Vol.Oct).Retrievedfrom Infrastructure Consortium of Africa (ICA), Infrastructure Financing Trends in Africa—2015.
Jasiukevičius, L. & Vasiliauskaitė, A. (2014). Formation of Optimal Capital Structure in Private-Public Partnership. Economics and Management.

Lamech, R. & Saeed, K. (2003). What International Investors Look for When Investing in Developing Countries Results from a Survey of International Investors in the Power Sector," Energy and Mining Sector Board Discussion Paper, No. 6, 2003.

LaPorta, R., Lopez-de-Silanes, F., Shleifer, A. & Vishny, R. (1997). Legal Determinants of External Finance, Journal of Finance, Vol. 52, pp. 1131−50.

Iossa, E. (2015). Contract and Procurement Design for PPPs in Highways: The road ahead. Economia Politica Industriale, 42(3), pp. 245-276.

Mwangi, S. W. (2016). The International Journal of Business & Management Do Public-Private Partnerships Deliver Value for Money in Infrastructure Projects? A Critical Literature Review, 4(1), 169–175.

Ismail, S. (2013). Factors Attracting the Use of Public Private Partnership in Malysia. Journal of Construction in Developing Countries 18 (1): 95–108.

Kasri, R. A. & Farid A. (2015). Determinants of Public– Private Partnerships in Infrastructure Provision: Evidence from Muslim Developing Countries. Journal of Economic Cooperation and Development 36 (2): pp. 1–34.

Kodongo, O. & K. Ojah. (2016). Does Infrastructure Really Explain Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa? Review of Development Finance 6 (2): 105–25.

Kojima, M. & Trimble, C. (2017). Making Power Affordable for Africa and Viable for Its Utilities. Washington, DC: World Bank.

Pistor, K., Raiser, M. & Gelfer, S. (2000). Law and Finance in Transition Economies, Economics of Transition, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 325−68.

Romero, B & José, M. (2015). What lies beneath? A critical assessment of PPPs and their impact on sustainable development, Eurodad.

Ruiters, C. & Matji, M. P. (2016). Public – private partnership conceptual framework and models for the funding and financing of water services infrastructure in municipalities from selected provinces in South Africa, 42(2), 291–305.

Ruiz Nuñes, F. (2017). Public-Private Partnerships in Sub-Saharan Africa. Washington, DC: The World Bank, unpublished manuscript. Prepared for the Africa’s Pulse (April 2017).

Sharma, C. (2012). Determinants of PPP in Infrastructure in Developing Economies. Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy 6 (2): 149–66.

Sturm, J. E., Kuper, G.H & Haan. E (2002). Modelling Government Investment and Economic Growthon a Macro Level: A Review. In Market Behaviour and Macroeconomic Modelling, edited by S. Brakman, H.van Ees, and S. K. Kuipers. London: MacMillan Press Ltd.

Shen, L., Tam, V. W. Y., Gan, L., Ye, K. & Zhao, Z. (2016). Improving Sustainability Performance for Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) Projects.

Wang, H., Xiong, W., Guangdong, W. & Zhu. D. (2018). Public–Private Partnership in Public Administration Discipline: A Literature Review. Public Management Review 20 (2): Routledge. 293–316. doi:10.1080/14719037.2017.1313445.

Wang, Y & Zhao, Z.J. (2018). Performance of public–private partnerships and influence of contractual arrangements, Public Performance & Management Review 41, 1, https://

Wang, Y. & Zhao, Z.J. (2014). Motivations, Obstacles, and Resources. Determinants of Public-Private Partnership in State Toll Road Financing. Public Performance & Management Review 37 (4): 679–704. doi:10.2753/PMR1530-9576370407.

World Bank (2017a). Africa’s pulse, World Bank Group, Washington, DC, available at: http://docu s-pulse (accessed 21 July 2019).

World Bank (2018). Benchmarking Public Procurement 2017: Assessing Public Procurement Systems in 180 Economies. Washington, DC: World Bank. World Bank PPI Data Base, (2014). Private Participation in Infrastructure Database. accessed on 7th May, 2014.

World Bank (2020). Private Participation in Infrastructure,

Yehoue, E. B. (2013). Institutional setting, macroeconomic stability and public–private partnerships. In P. Y. de Vries, Etienne B. (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to Public–Private Partnerships: Routledge.

Yescombe, E. R. (2007). Public-Private Partnerships: Principles of Policy and Finance. Oxford: Elseiver Ltd.

Zerfu, D. (2017). Determinants of Private Investment in Ethiopia. Mimeo. Addis Ababa University.

Zeileis A (2006). Object-Oriented Computation of Sandwich Estimators. Journal of Statistical Software, 16(9), 1–16. URL






Financial Economics