Digital solutions can unlock business models with the capacity of extending service provision to low-income populations. However, these solutions require strong partnerships between the public and private sectors, as well as mobile operators and other technology providers. For example, in Rwanda and Togo, the governments have been at the forefront of such partnerships, as is the case with their end-user subsidy pilot program to provide off-grid solar products, as well as their cashless payment system for public transportation. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with low energy access rates, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, off-grid solar providers like Nuru play an important role in energy access through innovative public-private partnerships (PPPs).
However, collaboration between these different stakeholders faces a variety of unique barriers that they must navigate and consider. Through supporting a range of these partnerships, the Digital Utilities programme has collected valuable insights (which will be available in the upcoming publication, ‘Partnering with the public sector: A toolkit for start-ups in the utilities sector’) that can help stakeholders and enabling organisations support these partnerships and help them deliver impact at scale.
This session brings together leaders from different sectors to discuss the drivers of successful PPPs, reflecting on why these partnerships are key to improving service provision across Africa and how they overcame some of the barriers they faced. We will also share insights from our soon to be published Digital Utilities Partnership Hub and the aforementioned toolkit, which aim to support leaders building such partnerships.
This work is supported by The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the United Kingdom Government.