Players in the Ghanaian and French private and public sectors have met in Accra to explore Public-Private Partnership (PPP) opportunities to boost Ghana’s development.

The two-day meeting focused on partnership opportunities for French companies in Ghana and how France could support the government to build sustainable cities in Ghana.

At the meeting, French companies presented their expertise and their success stories in other countries with better or similar economic status such as Ghana and proposed solutions for development needs in Ghana, particularly in the energy, water, transport and health sectors.

The seminar brought together more than 100 participants, including government officials from various ministries, departments and agencies( MDAs) in Ghana, French businesses based in Ghana and in France and players in Ghana’s private sector.

In his remarks at the opening ceremony in Accra last Thursday, the Minister of Health, Mr Alex Segbefia, shared with the participants the PPP opportunities in the Ghanaian health sector.

He said with healthcare delivery, the government had adopted a sector-wide approach to health development, which now focused on coordination and partnership rather than depending solely on the project aid approach.

“This new approach offered prospects of improved sustainability, effectiveness and efficiency, while providing opportunities for greater policy consistency, greater emphasis on domestic capacity and systems,” he said.

Mr Segbefia said the focus on coordination and partnership to enhance healthcare delivery, public-private partnerships and support for private initiatives was considered as a key strategy to improving access to and quality healthcare services, especially services beyond primary care.

He touted the immerse contribution of the private sector to the improvement in health-care services in Ghana by improving the quality and raising the standards for training human resource in the health sector and the provision of a critical mass of tertiary health services.

“Subventions to mission hospitals, though very poor in the past, was improving gradually. There are also tax exemptions for the importation of medicines, dressings, medical equipment and suppliers by private providers,” he said.

Mr Segbefia said the current approach of the government was to court the private sector in partnerships at all levels.

In his remarks, the Ambassador of France to Ghana, Mr Francois Pujolas, said in Ghana it had been established that public budget alone could not finance the urgent national development needs and, therefore, other approaches needed to be explored.

He said one of such approaches to be explored was obviously PPPs because they were an important tool to quickly generate investments for development.

Mr Pujolas said PPPs were also important means of fighting corruption while creating sustainable and cost-effective services based on the strategy of reuse and recycling.

“For more than one century now, France has been developing such successful partnerships, particularly in the water and transport sectors,” he said.

He said since the 1980s, French companies had exported their expertise around the world in order to help other countries to develop their infrastructures in an efficient and environmentally friendly way.