Ghana's Public-Private Partnership: Standards and Waves of Elitism

John Ansah
2015 International Journal of African and Asian Studies   unpublished
Purpose. Moreover, PPP arrangements rather represent one of the avenues for seeming and apparent connivance between political and economic elites resulting in some financial gains for the elites at the expense of the state and sections of the citizenry. Originality The paper concluded that PPP is not immune to elitism. Ghana's PPP presents academics in political economy an analytical tool which suggests that exploitation of citizens in developing countries is neither exhibited by external
more » ... d by external political and economic elites nor by external and internal political elites alone; but equally exhibited a class of indigenous political and economic actors found in those same developing countries. Introduction The practice of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) has assumed global preponderance. Indeed, both developed and underdeveloped countries have recognized the need to adopt PPP. Since the mid-1990s, its acceptance has grown steadily as most states seek to provide, finance and operate public infrastructure, services and utilities. In theory, PPP does not only represent a country's mark for softening her ideological stance, either as a capitalist or a socialist, but constitutes an epitome of the new and widely accepted politico-economic philosophy of fusing the state and private ownership of the means of production. PPP also recognises that both the public sector and the private sector have certain advantages relative to the other in the performance of specific tasks. Hence, allowing each sector to do what it does best, public services and infrastructure can be provided in the most economically efficient manner. In these regards, PPP is justified as it addresses the following puzzles: · How do states ensure equitable delivery of public services without defying the demands of rationality? · How do states enhance the efficiency without necessarily creating grounds for exploitation? Based on these rationalizations, PPP practically represents a mark of taking a pragmatic trajectory towards social progress driven by such observable realities, as Bastin (2003) finds out, as increasing investment needs and constraints on public funding sources, modernization requirements and liberalization of trade in services. Thus, the importance of partnerships, as a way to ensure sustainable development, tends to present itself as something consensual and evident (Franco and Estevão, 2010). As a global phenomenon, African countries, particularly Ghana, have embraced PPP; its ideals and essences. Creating a PPP office at the presidency and formulating a PPP draft bill outlining are symptomatic of this. Even though many studies have been carried out the relationship between the private ownership of the means of production and elitism-characterized by that the appropriation of economic resources by either a political or an economic actor or both in the engagement of such actors with each other and other economic actors-there is no empirically verifiable regularity to validate the patterns of elitism in contexts PPP where the private sector enjoys a high degree of integration in infrastructure and public service delivery in the case of Ghana's experience. Thus, the paper seeks to examine the nature of the contract and the financial considerations in the contract relating to outsourcing ("the process of contracting with the most suitable expert third party service provider" (Alder, 2005:4) and their level of consistency with international PPP standards as well as evidence of political and economic elitism in the PPP regime of Ghana.