Sustainable development goals seek to address the global challenges we face; ranging from poverty and climate change to inequality and prosperity, among others. Most of the sustainable development goals are cross-cutting as well as very ambitious and attaining these goals by the year 2030 will require a concerted effort by stakeholders in both the private and public sectors.
Public-private partnerships are cooperative arrangements that have been around throughout history. Governments have used such a mix of public and private endeavors throughout history to achieve various objectives. The growing importance of public-private partnerships suggests assessing their contribution to achieving sustainable development goals.
Developing countries, in particular, should be at the forefront of embracing PPPs if they are ever to achieve SDGs and enjoy the transformation that comes with this milestone. Sustainable development goals are a comprehensive plan that was hatched through worldwide consultations thus leaving no one behind. Achieving these goals is paramount since they will tremendously improve the welfare of citizens.
The implementation of the 15-year agenda for sustainable development begun on January 1st, 2016 and, among others, seeks to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and to fix climate change. Attaining SDGs cannot be successful if this is dependent on governments alone. Existing financing gaps that are hindering the process of attaining these goals can be overcome by incorporating the private sector into the equation through appropriate de-risking mechanisms. PPPs increase access to capital, innovation, and help transfer risks.
For public-private partnerships to work, they have to be tailored to the local context of the country they are being implemented in order to find the appropriate solution. When properly designed and executed in a well-adjusted regulatory environment, PPPs can enhance efficiency and bolster sustainability in the provision of public services.
Sustainable development goals are integrated into nature. For instance, achieving SDG4: ‘Quality education’, will support the achievement of, SDG1:’No poverty’ and SDG3:’Good health and well-being’.
The private sector comes in handy because not only does it fill the financing gap and improve access to capital; it also allows off-balance sheet borrowing and increases the stock of infrastructure assets. A scope for partnerships between the public and private sector is vital to socio-economic transformation and consequently the achievement of the sustainable development goals.