by Hussainatu J. Abdullah
This article argues that public-private partnerships (PPPs) as a vehicle for financing public infrastructure are antithetical to long-term social development, including women’s rights and gender equality, because of their profit-oriented focus. A case study of Addax Bioenergy Sierra Leone (ABSL) illustrates this point. ABSL is a partnership between the Sierra Leonean government and a private sector entity to expand the country’s electricity supply using cane bagasse from ethanol distilling.The project’s objectives were short-lived due to several factors, including the project funders’ lack of transparency and accountability. At the community level, ABSL’s land acquisition, labour, and production practices reinforced gender-based discrimination and affected women’s rights to resources and livelihoods. In more specific terms, women lost access to fertile lands for agricultural production, which affected the food security of their households. In addition, they experienced an increased workload. The contamination of water resources also affected women more disproportionately than men. This study, therefore, argues that PPPs bent on profit maximisation are detrimental to achieving social development and gender equality and stifle women’s advancement in society.
Read the full article below or download HERE03_FA-2023-Vol4.2_-Feature-Article_Abdullah