IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed an advisory mandate with the government of Guinea-Bissau to structure and implement a public-private partnership scheme to improve the performance and service delivery of the nation’s state-owned power and water utility, Electricidade e Águas da Guiné-Bissau. IFC is charged with structuring a transparent process to attract capital and management expertise that would deliver the most benefits to consumers of power and water.
Economic and social development in Guinea-Bissau are hindered by the current delivery capacity of Electricidade e Águas da Guiné-Bissau. Only 5.7 percent of the nation’s people have access to electricity at irregular intervals. In the capital, Bissau, the percentage of electricity access is a mere 12.9 percent. Only 18 percent of people in Bissau have access to water.
“Guinea-Bissau urgently needs increased investment in this utility to meet the needs of our people,” said Madame Helena Nosolini Embaló, Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Integration. “We have selected IFC to draw on its global expertise in devising Public Private Partnerships. IFC’s commitment to projects with strong development impact matches well with our national priorities.” The government’s economic and poverty reduction plan has put a priority on growth, job creation, and increasing access to social services and basic infrastructure.
The mandate marks a milestone for Guinea-Bissau, which passed a law in 2009 supporting the development of public-private partnerships to encourage private investment. It calls for IFC to develop a feasibility study to determine the best structure for encouraging private sector participation in the utility. If accepted, the study would be followed by an IFC-managed transparent and public tender to attract qualified bidders to the project.
“Electricidade e Águas da Guiné-Bissau requires new investment and management know-how to improve operational efficiency and develop the infrastructure that will expand access to services,” said Emmanuel Nyirinkindi, IFC Manager for Public-Private Partnerships in Africa. He added “IFC Advisory Services aims to help the government decide on the optimal PPP structure that will lead to significant improvement in service delivery for the most people.”
The IFC project team is working closely with counterparts at the World Bank, which is implementing and financing a Multi-Sector Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project’s. Its mandate is to to assist the government in increasing the availability and reliability of electricity and water supply in its capital city, and in improving the institutional and management capacity in these sectors.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit