The Central African sub-region faces significant challenges in ensuring energy security and access for its population. According to the World Bank, only 25% of the population in the sub-region had access to electricity in 2019, and the average per capita electricity consumption was 162 kWh, which is less than 10% of the global average. The sub-region also suffers from frequent power outages, high electricity tariffs, and low reliability and quality of service. These factors hamper the economic and social development of the sub-region and limit its potential for regional integration and trade.

To address these challenges, the sub-region needs to invest in expanding and upgrading its energy infrastructure, especially in power generation, transmission, and distribution. However, public resources alone are not sufficient to meet the huge financing gap, estimated at $3.2 billion per year. Therefore, there is a need to mobilize private sector participation and financing through public-private partnerships (PPPs). PPPs can bring benefits such as leveraging private capital, technology, and expertise; improving efficiency and sustainability of service delivery; and sharing risks between public and private entities.

However, PPPs also face many barriers and risks in the sub-region, such as weak legal and regulatory frameworks, lack of institutional capacity, political instability, currency fluctuations, and low creditworthiness of off-takers. Therefore, there is a need to create an enabling environment and adopt best practices for designing and implementing PPPs in the energy sector. This requires coordination and collaboration among various stakeholders, such as governments, private sector, development partners, civil society, and local communities.

The panel discussion on ensuring energy security in the sub-region through public-private partnership financing will explore these issues and provide insights and recommendations on how to harness the potential of PPPs for the development of the energy sector in the sub-region. The panel will consist of experts and practitioners from different backgrounds and perspectives, such as government officials, private investors, project developers, financiers, regulators, consultants, and academics. The panel will also engage with the audience through questions and comments. The panel discussion will be moderated by a senior economic journalist.

The Central Africa Business Energy Forum is a meeting platform for the Central African sub-region and neighboring countries with the objective of developing the regional energy industry and the establishment of public-private relationships1. The forum will take place in Chad from September 8 to 9, 2023. One of the main sessions of the forum is a panel discussion on the topic: Ensuring Energy Security In The Sub-region Through Public Private Partnership Financing. The panel discussion aims to explore the opportunities and challenges of using public-private partnerships (PPPs) as a tool to finance and implement energy infrastructure projects that can enhance the energy security and access in the sub-region.


Yanick Ndikum
Senior Technical Advisor
CABEF Association