Supporting The Public Sector of Ghana
Public spending on education was 8.2 per cent of GDP in 2011. There are 11 years of compulsory education starting at the age of four. Some 72 per cent of pupils complete primary school (2008). In 2009, private schools in Ghana totalled 15,000, with 6,000 of these classed as low-cost models. The Ghanaian Government has indicated the important part PPPs could play in the country’s Education for All targets. The IDP Rising Schools Program was a 2009 pilot public–private partnership with Sinapi Aba Trust, a Ghanaian microfinance institution, now due for nationwide expansion. The programme uses private school facilities to offer educational opportunities to children from poor backgrounds where there is little state schooling available. Another Africa-wide PPP, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development E-Schools programme, funded by the NEPAD Consortium, assists Ghanaian primary and secondary schools with technical skills training, building labs and media centres, setting up networks and providing laptops for teachers.
The longest established public universities include the University of Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. There are also many teacher-training colleges, polytechnics and specialised tertiary institutions, as well as private universities.
Public spending on health was three per cent of GDP in 2012, with public health coverage and expenditure marginally greater than that of mission and for-profit providers. Public hospitals and other medical care are provided at nominal rates, with the Ghana Health Service working with private sector institutions to provide certain clinical and public health services. The government aims to establish a number of specialist health centres via public–private partnership, with current provisions of specialist care to citizens deemed inadequate. Rural areas are particularly lacking in good facilities. Institutes of medical education also require critical development, with at least one medical school per region needed to meet the demand for medical expertise. The refurbishment of three teaching hospitals – Komfo Anokye, Korle-bu and Tamale – has been achieved via PPP, with expansion necessary to alleviate current congestion in wards and update technology. The Komfo Anokye has gained a two-storey eye care centre, a refurbished psychiatry department, an emergency lane and a 32-flat nurses’ block. Cancer treatment centres and 12 new district hospitals are also earmarked for construction via PPP. A public–private partnership called the Supportive Technical Assistance for Revitalizing project has been established by the Jhpiego and Ghana Health Service, in co-operation with Jubilee Ventures Consortium, as a five-year programme that works across the coastal regions to tackle Malaria where it is most prevalent, with 61 community health planning services and centres participating.
There are 57,610 km of roads, 15 per cent paved, and a 953 km railway network connecting Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi, originally built to link mining centres to the ports but also providing passenger services. Small private buses call tro-tros are prevalent across the country. The government considers road and rail infrastructure as critical to facilitating supply chains and forging economic growth.
Roads: A key priority project set by the government’s PPP agenda is the dualling of the Accra–Kumasi Road (185 km), due for completion in 2015 at a cost of $500 million. A build–operate–transfer model has been adopted between the Government of Ghana and private parties DSC Infrastructure (Dubai), Egis/DSC Infastructure (Dubai) and Savarino Companies under a 30-year concession agreement. The dual carriageway is crucial to facilitating Ghana’s burgeoning oil industry, linking the capital to the oil centres and Takoradi Port. The Tema–Accra Motorway will be also subject to infrastructural development via PPP.
Railways: The Minister of Transport has backed PPPs to revitalise the railway network; the Accra–Tema, Kumasi–Ejisu, Accra–Nsawam and Takoradi–Kojokrom rail lines will all be upgraded, alongside corresponding port developments. Ghana is also one of five countries of the Economic Community of West African States to partake in the West Coast High Speed Rail Project. It is estimated that the 1178.84 km network to improve links in the sub-region will cost $58.9 billion, with some of the funds due to be raised via PPPs.
Airports: The main international airport is at Accra (Kotoka), 10 km to the north of the city; other airports are at Takoradi, Kumasi, Sunyani and Tamale. Airports are publicly owned, but central to the government’s public–private partnership manifesto in 2014 is the construction and expansion of Kotaka Airport. Kumasi, Tamale and Takoradi airports are also due for upgrade via funding from public–private schemes. Tamale Airport will, for example, receive $174 million in funding from the Brazilian construction firm Queiroz Galvao.