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The Use of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) by a Local Authority: the Case of the Koudougou Bus Station in Burkina Faso

Jean-Pierre Salambéré
This article is a translation of:
Le recours au partenariat public privé (PPP) par une collectivité locale : le cas de la gare routière de Koudougou au Burkina Faso [fr]


In Burkina Faso, public-private partnerships (PPP) have been favoured by political actors for some years now. This investment model is put forward by the government as an alternative source of financing for infrastructure and public services.

In Koudougou municipality, located in the west-central region of the country, a management model for a bus station involving public and private actors has been set up. This is a first for this municipality, which co-financed the realization of this infrastructure with the support of the Swiss Cooperation. To ensure the station’s full functionality, the town hall invited transport companies to invest in the station to set up a base for their activities there. Private companies responded to this management offer with varying degrees of success.

This article is based on the study of this case, with the aim of identifying the difficulties encountered and the risks related to the PPP management processes for the various actors, in particular the operational and financial risks, and the legal and political risks. Based on the achievements and limitations observed in Koudougou, the article suggests several lessons for improving the management of a collective infrastructure involving a PPP.

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1. Introduction

1A public-private partnership (PPP) is defined as any form of public-private partnership intended to implement all or part of a service of general interest. The basic principle is a relationship of ‘win-win’ cooperation between the public and private for-profit sectors to ensure the provision of public services, ensuring a good division of roles and effective risk management.

2In Burkina Faso, the PPP approach has been promoted by political actors for some years. This investment model, already of long standing in the world and in Africa, was recently put forward by the Burkinabe government as an alternative source of financing for infrastructure and public services. A review of PPP law has been made to facilitate its implementation.

  • 1 See the situation and general information on (accessed on 2 (...)

3This article analyzes an example of a PPP for the management of a bus station in an urban municipality - Koudougou - located in the west-central region of Burkina Faso (Boulkiemdé province).1 In view of the difficulties of applying the PPP approach (in particular, the reluctance of the private sector to move into the station, and the non-finalization of the project and the signing of contracts between the parties), this article aims to assess the shortcomings related to this implementation by asking the following three questions:

4What are the difficulties encountered by the private sector in the occupation of the bus station?

5What are the factors limiting management between the public and the private sector?

6What lessons can be learned to manage this type of infrastructure with the PPP model?

7After a review of the literature, the article presents the operation of the bus station, the PPP approach in Burkina, the application of the PPP to Koudougou station, its limits, the lessons learned and recommendations for successful management of this type of project.

2. PPPs in debate

  • 2 The BOOT (build-own-operate-transfer) model here represents all the variants, such as BOT, BOO, DBO (...)

8 The diversity of definitions of PPPs is as wide as the number of publications that focus on them and the inventiveness of forms of partnership depending on the context. We agree with Giauque that one can talk about a PPP approach when there is ‘a cooperation between public actors, private actors and, potentially, associative actors, within which the different actors can achieve their own objectives, while working jointly on the basis of potential synergies, sharing responsibilities, opportunities and risks, on the basis of a formalised cooperation contract’ (2009, 385). Gruber and Rothenberger (2005) present and differentiate several forms of PPP contracts such as the service contract, the management contract, the leasing contract, the concession contract and the BOOT models.2

9 PPP approaches are therefore difficult to bring under a single definition as many variants are constantly being brought into play by the different actors. As part of our study, the form of PPP contracts for the Koudougou station is based on the BOOT model (build-own-operate-transfer), in its variant form of investment by the private sector, exploitation by the private sector and transfer to public authority. The public authority has granted a space concession to private companies for construction within the station. The investment remains the property of the private partner for the duration of the contract covering the new installations carried out until the actual transfer to the public authority (here, the town hall). This PPP model, with an average duration of between fifteen and thirty years, implies a mutual dependence between the private partner (supply) and the public authority (until receipt of the service).

  • 3 This is also due to the fact that in Antiquity there was no general budget in the modern sense of t (...)

10 Although the use of public-private partnerships has become more and more widespread - especially after the 2008 financial crisis - as a credible formula for responding to the lack of public resources, this is not a new approach. It has been used for a very long time, with varying degrees of success. Pierre Hamel (1997) notes that ‘[...] in history, different models of PPP have been applied. The use of contractual techniques for public works actually dates back to the period of Antiquity. For example, in Greece and Rome there are traces of construction work carried out according to the concession model. In exchange for the construction of a given infrastructure, the governments granted the concessionaires permission to collect a tax from the users.’3 In the twentieth century, ‘[...], the first official private financing initiative contract was implemented in 1992 in the United Kingdom by the Conservative government’ (Perrier et al., 2014, 4).

11 What can be learned from debates over PPP and what empirical data can be cited as examples of them?

2.1. The rationality, benefits and limitations of PPPs

12 In principle, local authorities have everything to gain from implementing PPPs to boost the development of local public services. They have few investment resources and may want the private sector to help meet the many service and infrastructure needs of their citizens.

13 Andrew Alli and his co-authors present PPPs as a model of smart investment in Africa ​​(Alli et al., 2013, 26). Other authors add that PPPs are effective because ‘public authorities and lenders have a strong interest in ensuring that investments and operations are properly managed while the private partner is incentivised to achieve the desired results through the exposure of its capital’ (Farquharson et al., 2011, 145).

14 The state, it is commonly said, cannot be omnipresent. Private investment is promoted as a means of responding in a timely manner to meet the needs of the people. Private resources are supposed to compensate for the inadequacy of public resources (Pinaud, 2007). Even better, several authors see PPPs as a source of relief for official development assistance (ODA), whese resources have been declining in recent decades (Warner and Sullivan, 2004). Some also see this approach as a way of achieving technology transfer (Mazouz, 2009). According to a Deloitte Global study (2015, 31), the use of PPPs affected 12 per cent to 17 per cent of infrastructure projects in West Africa in 2015. The value of boosting PPP for sustainable development is also discussed in the Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030). Indeed, for Lise Congo, executive director of the UN Global Compact, ‘the private sector has the power to innovate and the ability to create a large number of solutions necessary to meet the challenges that the world is facing today’ (2017).

15 Nevertheless, several authors point to the limits of PPPs and urge caution. Christine Eberlein (2005) notes that the virtues that may have been associated with the promotion of PPPs have sometimes been overestimated to the detriment of the risks of undermining public interests for the benefit of private interests. Peter Ulrich and Florian Wettstein, for example, argue that ‘... wanting to solve public sector bottlenecks by engaging private interests often means introducing the wolf into the fold’ (2005, 47).

16 Patrice Duran recommends always watching over the public interest and adopting a cautious approach, noting that ‘basic common sense now fosters mistrust towards what some people thought, a little quickly, was a miracle formula for the development of an efficient and effective public action, combining the affirmation of the public good with the flexibility of private management’ (1995, 274).

2.2. Empirical data: cases of success, failure and mixed results

  • 4 One example is the Henri Konan Bédié Bridge in Côte d’Ivoire.

17 PPPs have multiplied on all continents. In the West African sub-region, successful experiences have been documented in Côte d’Ivoire (Marin et al., 2009) and in Benin (Migan, 2015), providing various local public services (drinking water, sanitation, health, small businesses, infrastructure,4 energy, etc.).

18 The experience of PPPs in agribusiness (financing a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) for collecting, cleaning and exporting sesame seeds in Burkina Faso), as described by Florent Song-Naba (2013), shows mixed results. According to him, ‘If the PPP has indeed facilitated the creation and operation of the SME, the question of the sustainability of the balance between the development objectives of public partners and the need for profitability of private partners remains unresolved’ (Song-Naba, 2013, 138).

19 Finally, the study of El Hadji Mamadou Ndiaye and Rémy Tremblay examining the more or less successful management of bus stations enlightens us as to the modes of management involving the private sector: ‘[...] this mode of management can exist in several forms, for example, concession, leasing, self-interested management and stewardship’ (2009, 501). Whatever the environment (urban, suburban or rural) or the development sector, the major challenge remains the implementation and successful management of PPP projects, while safeguarding the ‘public interest’, here understood as the equivalent of the ‘common good’ or the ‘search for the individual happiness of all’. One can therefore question the conditions to be met for the successful implementation of a PPP project.

2.3. PPP project implementation conditions

20 This article focuses in particular on the conditions of implementation of PPPs and takes a critical look at these arrangements. The literature highlights some key aspects to the implementation of these partnerships, including:

21 On the economic front, it is important to control the cost-benefit ratio of PPPs to avoid the risk of inefficiency, especially as the private partner’s objective is to make a profit. According to Jeffrey Delmon and his co-authors, ‘PPP projects are conducive to recurring renegotiations: they result in complex long-term commercial and financial arrangements in highly regulated sectors’ (2010, 108). Frédéric Bougrain and his co-authors reinforce this idea by emphasising that ‘an initial utopia would be to think that a public-private partnership is a perfect balance, with a rediscovered harmony between partners’ (2005, 15).

22 On the legal and political front, institutional instability is considered a risk for the management of PPP projects. According to Edward Farquharson and his colleagues (2011, 144), ‘research shows that the stability and predictability of the legal regime and, where appropriate, the funding of the regulatory body and its autonomy in decision-making, are critical factors in regulation’. The work of Daron Acemoglu, James Robinson and Simon Johnson (2005) supports the idea that institutional stability is at the heart of successful development. Philippe Rochefort also suggests that in terms of PPP, we must ‘eliminate the unexpected in its public, regulatory, fiscal and political guises’ (1995, 287). Political instability is a source of challenges to the legal stability (the change of laws, the suspension or termination of commitments, etc.) essential to PPP project management.

23 Transparent communication also appears to be a determining factor in the success of public-private partnerships. For Edward Farquharson and his co-authors, it is necessary ‘to establish a detailed communication strategy with the private partner, service users and stakeholders, and to ensure that it is reviewed and updated regularly; problem solving requires good communication’ (2011, 148). The contribution of actors to communication during the construction stages up to the usage phase is therefore crucial for the success and sustainability of the investments made in the context of a PPP. In other words, a poor communication approach is a source of negative effects such as distrust and suspicion - all the things that are prejudicial to the trust that must be expected in a PPP contract.

24 In addition, other similar studies make it possible to establish an analogy with the cultural factor, in particular the effect of the ‘cultural brand’ of Sylvie Fainsang (2007, 193-209). In the case of PPP, work should be done to reduce the socio-cultural influence that can justify the reluctance of actors to participate in PPP projects.

25 Overall, given the multiplicity of influencing factors, a review of the literature confirms with Lise Breuil (2004) that the PPP approach raises concerns about the challenge of reconciling ‘the contractual, institutional and participative dimensions of governance’, as indicated by the title of his thesis. What is the situation as regards the PPP management experience of the Koudougou bus station?

3. Koudougou: geographical location and actors of the study

26 The transport sector is particularly well developed in Koudougou, particularly thanks to the proximity of the capital Ouagadougou (100 km away). Koudougou is served by more than a dozen major private transport companies.

27 On the socio-political front, Koudougou is sometimes considered a ‘rebel city’ (Glez, 2011) in light of the many events and popular demonstrations that have taken place there: the assassination of nationals such as the journalist Norbert Zongo in 1998 and of the student Justin Zongo in 2011; the aftershocks of the demonstrations during the uprising of October 30 and 31, 2014, and so on. These social and political movements have not always been free from pillaging and other types of violence: the Municipal Public Establishment for Development (EPCD), the home of its director and the mayor of the city, and the local courthouse were torched; there were injuries and fatalities during the socio-political crisis of 2011; the central market was also torched; a bus of the Transport Company Aorèma and Brothers (STAF) was blocked during the insurrection, etc.

28 The Swiss Cooperation has been active in this locality for more than ten years. The region has received support for devising and implementing regional and municipal development plans, combined with formulation and implementation of PPP projects. The bus station is one of the achievements of the Koudougou municipal plan that encourages investment in and development of the site by local private actors. For the Swiss Cooperation, it is a market infrastructure that should be a source of revenue for the municipality.

Figure 1. Photos of the new Koudougou bus station

29The station entrance: facade

30Main shelter

31Informal sector

Source : author

32  The population using the station is mainly male, as transport activity employs mainly men: drivers, taxi drivers, security agents, shopkeepers, officials from international and local transport companies, both formal and informal, and trade union representatives. Women are more involved in catering activities, selling cake, clothing, fruits and vegetables from small displays, either fixed or mobile. These activities are found more in the informal sector and give women few positions of responsibility at the management level of the station.

  • 5 Refer to the appendix for more details on methodology.

33 The study of the documentation and the individual and collective interviews has made it possible to incorporate the different levels of actors in the analysis: small scale, medium scale and large scale, by including representatives of the state and stakeholders at the station (local elected officials, civil societies, technical staff, users...).5

4. Status of the legal framework of the PPP approach at national level

34 In Burkina Faso, partnerships between the public and the private sector have existed for several decades through public service delegations. Before the passing of a specific law on PPPs in 2013, a national strategy for the promotion of PPPs was adopted in 2011 as part of the 2011-2015 Accelerated Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy (SCADD). The Strategy places PPPs as alternative and complementary tools to the public finance strengthening strategy of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. It is consistent with the national debt policy.

35 In 2013, Law 20-2013/AN on the legal regime of the PPP in Burkina Faso was passed. In article 2, it defines public-private partnerships as ‘a form of collaboration that associates the public authority with a natural or legal person under private law in order to provide goods or services to the public, by optimising the respective performances of the public and private sectors in order to achieve, as soon as possible, social projects or projects for the development of infrastructures and public services, in accordance with the principles of equity, transparency, risk sharing and long-term viability’. Article 14 of the Law states that ‘the method of selecting a private partner is subject to respect for the principles of freedom of access, equal treatment of candidates, competition, objectivity of procedures and transparency’.

  • 6 This new law, which was passed to meet needs in an emergency context, does not abrogate Law 20-2013 (...)
  • 7 In particular, Decree No. 2008-173 of 16 April 2008, modified in 2012, relates to the general regul (...)

36 In 2016, 94 priority projects for the construction of infrastructures, planning, equipment, production and development of PPP services in several development sectors (education and training, health, transport, hydraulics, solar energy, environment , water and sanitation, industrial and artisanal processing, agro-silvo-pastoral production, etc.) were included in the National Economic and Social Development Plan (2016-2020). Slowness in the implementation of these projects led, as early as July 2017, to the passing by the Assembly of the law 042-2017/AN, which made it possible to lighten contractual procedures for a six-month period.6 Other texts also contribute to the framework of the PPP: certain focus on the sectoral level; others are aimed at regulating public markets.7

  • 8 At the level of guidance, we have the Council of Ministers, the National PPP Commission, and the PP (...)
  • 9 At the level of implementation, we find mainly: the sectoral ministry and its departments as well a (...)
  • 10 Law 20, article 28; Decree No. 2014-024, Article 5.

37 PPPs are also supervised by guidance8 and implementation9 institutions. Local authorities are authorised to set up commissions at regional and municipal level under their aegis, with the support of the sectoral ministries concerned. Communities are responsible for providing guidance and implementation services at the national level, as appropriate. The PPP Promotion Directorate does not yet have representatives at regional or municipal level. Nevertheless, whatever the level (national, regional or municipal), the public authority must always have the approval of the Council of Ministers or the deliberative body of state departments (Regional Council, City Council, the deliberative body of any other public institution) before signing contracts.10

5. The Koudougou bus station and the PPP approach

5.1. The bus station project

  • 11 This project was partly funded by the Embassy Cooperation Office and the Swiss consular section in (...)
  • 12 The RAGIM (Autonomous Management of Market Infrastructure) is a public institution with a socio-eco (...)

38 The new Koudougou bus station - with the support of the Swiss Cooperation11 - includes a PPP component for the construction and management of infrastructure. The municipality’s aim was to facilitate the integration of all transport companies in the station. The model chosen involves the concession of space to the private sector within the station for investment, management and transfer. The town hall passes through the Autonomous Management of Market Infrastructure (RAGIM)12 for the establishment and management of concession contracts.

39 This involvement of the private sector entails various difficulties, notably:

cases of a refusal to be integrated into the station. Although the municipality advocates the occupation of the station by all carriers, some private companies refuse to do so, or ‘drag their feet’. They continue to occupy their private stations or create parallel circuits for parking and transport of passengers. Inside the station, there are still spaces that were meant for them but are as yet unoccupied;

  • 13 The COGES (Station Management Committee) is a body set up to support the RAGIM in the management of (...)

management tensions. Cases of latent conflict persist between the private actors present, at site level (dissatisfaction, mistrust). Although a management committee (COGES)13 is responsible for organising periodic meetings, not all actors are involved in conflict resolution and station management;

non-compliance with the regulations governing occupation of the station. Despite efforts to raise awareness, there are uncontrolled and even illegal occupations that the manager belatedly tries to take into account. These occupations (the installation of taxis and motorcycles; women selling confectionery; street vendors; meat grills) were not included in the original installation plans.

Figure 2. Photos of the old private station in town and unexpected occupations within the new station.

40Pengdwendé station maintained in town

41Female street vendors at the station

 Source: author.

42Motorcycle taxi, street vendors and general merchandise

43 Thus, several points of misunderstanding, or even more or less explicit malfunctions, exist at the station level: slowness of installation, non-compliance with the installation plans, and limits to the operation of the COGES.

  • 14 Solar pumping with low flow capacity to meet the demands of transporters.

44 Deficiencies related to the design (dust, muddy ground, small shed, very weak lighting, difficulty in accessing sufficient water,14 limited lighting at night, security) are observable. These sources of concern affect the functionality, profitability and sustainable maintenance of the station’s infrastructure, regardless of the type of contract implemented for its management.

5.2. The management system of the bus station

45 Following the development and installation of various private and public actors in the bus station, its management was entrusted by the town hall to the RAGIM (i.e., as we have noted, the Autonomous Management of Market Infrastructure). A management protocol has been signed granting the RAGIM the status of manager and concessionaire of the station. Incidentally, this same management is also responsible for the central market and the Zakin market.

  • 15 The FADEC was set up at city hall level with the support of Swiss Cooperation. It aims to allow the (...)

46 The protocol of the town hall describes the exclusive concession of the public service to the RAGIM (as manager) as follows: ‘during its duration, the protocol confers on the manager the responsibility for ensuring, with the support of a management committee, public service within the infrastructures. The manager is also responsible for maintaining all the mechanisms necessary for the service within these perimeters. By public service is meant the services that must be rendered to the population of the catchment area, the tenant traders, and the carriers, as well as the guarantees due to the municipality as owner of the building and guarantor of the general interest. Upon taking charge of the installation, the manager is responsible for the smooth running of the service within the provisions of this management protocol’ (Article 2). The financial management clauses stipulate that the RAGIM collects and pays 20 per cent of the parking revenue to the COGES monthly, and 80 per cent to the town hall. The net profits released at the end of the year thanks to the revenues from itinerants and rental charges are for their part distributed to the mayor (25 per cent) and the support fund for municipal development (FADEC) (75 per cent).15

  • 16 These include details on the services provided by the station, its opening hours, the conditions of (...)
  • 17 The management has signed specifications with the municipal police, a private security company and (...)
  • 18 The cost for electricity was estimated at 25 million FCFA to cover the entire station, which is sti (...)

47 The RAGIM has established - in consultation with the various actors - an internal set of regulations for the station.16 The board also coordinates17 integrated back-up services such as police, security, water and electricity provision,18 a PA system to provide information, and the maintenance of cleanliness and hygiene.

48 The various stakeholders in the management of the station are as follows:

Figure 3. Stakeholders at the station

Figure 3. Stakeholders at the station

The strategic partners provided co-financing for the realisation of the station plans. The RAGIM manages the station for the town hall. It benefits from the technical support of technical services and support bodies (COGES). The beneficiaries consist of transport companies (private operators of the station), customers of the shops and other sales services installed in the station as well as passengers.

Source: author.

  • 19 The RAGIM holds monthly consultation meetings with the COGES and reports on management decisions to (...)
  • 20 The term ‘forwarding agent’ refers to transport companies that stop at the station to pick up passe (...)
  • 21 Among the openly mentioned reasons, let us cite the following : 1) the owners of tricycles are, it (...)

49 The RAGIM and the COGES are at the heart of the working relationship between the actors.19 Relations between stakeholders are considered by the interlocutors to be good, apart from a few tensions between tricycle drivers and freight forwarding agents20 on the one hand and between freight forwarding agents and major transport companies on the other hand, essentially in connection with commercial competition.21

5.3. The ticket windows: from their design to the implementation of the PPP ‘on the way’

50 The Koudougou bus station has been designed with the aim of managing a rental infrastructure for private actors. According to the director of the EPCD, ‘a participatory process - including exchange trips - was initiated to provide a design for the station. The ticket windows were designed with the opinions of private transport companies in mind. However, between design and completion, nearly ten years passed and, at the end of the process, the major transportation companies found that the facilities they had installed no longer met their needs.’ Thus, to take into account the evolution of their needs, the large private transport companies decided - after consultation with the town hall - to make new investments at their own expense. This second phase thus involves implementing the BOOT model. In the initial plans for the station, the PPP principle was not part of the objectives.

  • 22 These are the main companies already installed in the station: STAF; TSR.

51 With the incorporation of the PPP management principle, three large companies (Pengdwendé, STAF, and Transport Sana Rasmané (TSR))22 right from the outset formulated their requests for spaces to build and operate their ticket windows inside the station. The initial ticket windows were granted to freight forwarding agents.23 Informal transport companies have been encouraged to move into the station, as have international transport companies. The latter have also agreed to invest in building their own ticket windows even though they do not know all the ‘rules of the game’ in advance. The valuation of the investments should take place after the event.

  • 24 1000 FCFA per square metre.
  • 25 Request from the municipality to remove the responsibility for paving and tarmacking roads from pri (...)

52 According to the Administrative and Financial Director of the municipality of Koudougou, the proposed model is ‘that of the concession of space with the possibility of investing in it, of profiting from it during a given period, then of transferring ownership of the investments to the municipality’. The municipality has fixed monthly recoveries on the basis of the rental cost per square metre24 for the transport companies that have made investments (the STAF, TSR, international carriers, informal transporters). At the end of the contract, the municipality owns the investments made by the transport companies. That said, in all the companies, the PPP contract requirements (duration, innovation, complexity) are neither specified nor applied. The duration mentioned is approximately ten to fifteen years. Investment costs25 are under negotiation.

  • 26 PPP promotion director. In his opinion. ‘out of nearly 94 PPP sector projects, there are less than (...)
  • 27 In addition to the high level of financial investment which calls for caution and its consistency w (...)

53 PPP can - as is often the case elsewhere - be considered as a ‘pre-financing’26 mode that does not comply with PPP principles. At its initiation, there was no feasibility study to determine the investment models to be achieved, nor any ceiling for costs. The municipality could not carry out the required feasibility studies, which limits its structuring character.27 In the opinion of one transport company representative, ‘everyone has made his request, as he wants and according to his abilities. As a result, some had a lot of space and others less. Currently, we see that STAF had the best place and we are satisfied with little. But as STAF was one of the first to invest, we cannot do anything else.’

54 Private investment, not originally planned, was carried out on an incentive basis. The station master says: ‘Initially, we wanted to rent out the ticket windows that had been built. But as this was no longer appropriate, it was especially important to encourage large companies to move into the station to encourage others to do the same.’ There was no call for competition as advocated by the PPP approach, with negotiations being conducted directly between the mayor of the time and private companies.

  • 28 4000 m2 to STAF; 1800 m2 to TSR and less than 1200 m2 to Pengdwendé. This being said, the impressio (...)

55 The current mayor admits that he proceeded to the regularisation of the grating of concessions at the municipal council in 2016. The municipal council of 2012 and the special delegation set up after the popular insurrection of 2014 did not deliberate on the file. For some station carriers, this PPP is an ‘arrangement between big bellies’ – an allusion to the suspicions that corruption had led to the disproportionate allocation of space.28 In the mayor’s opinion, the municipal authorities are not yet well sensitised or equipped when it comes to the PPP approach, which explains, among other things, the hesitations noted in relation to their levels of involvement.

  • 29 The acronym of the presidential party (MPP or People’s Movement for Progress).

56 In the popular conception - and in spite of the possibility of a posteriori control retained in the law 42-2017/AN - the image of PPP contracts has been damaged by the suspicions of corruption, crony contracts, etc. Civil society organisations accuse the ruling party of wanting to ‘turn PPPs into MPPs’,29 alluding to political rewards. With the law 42-2017/AN, the sense of mistrust felt by the citizens towards the PPP has further developed. Political parties, civil society and even various key persons in the administration think that the relief measures taken are similar to favours to members of the presidential movement. Serious fears of corruption, laundering and mismanagement have been expressed with regard to the public authority.

57 Swiss Cooperation supports municipalities in setting up ethical PPP project management mechanisms. The case of the Koudougou bus station - which, it should be remembered, adhered to the PPP management principle along the way - was implemented hastily and did not allow the entire process to be followed. The Swiss Cooperation is following this case in order to understand its strengths and weaknesses so as to improve its management and efficiency.

6. Partnership Management Analysis and Proposals for Conditionalities for Success

58 The station’s PPP approach has gradually become the management model chosen by the municipality. Efforts have been made to raise the awareness of the various carriers and associated actors - taxis, tricycle drivers, vendors of cake, water, various drinks, restaurants, meat grillers, shopkeepers ... – and encourage them to move into the station. For the informal carriers, various drastic measures have even forced them to do so: their old sites have been blocked with iron poles and women selling fruit and vegetables have been moved into their places. In this regard, the informal carriers mention that they had not refused to move into the station but were ‘dragging their feet’ so as to have more time to build their ticket windows before moving.

59 Despite these constraints, the new bus station officially opened on 30 March 2016.

6.1. Strengths and weaknesses, potentials and obstacles

60 The case study reveals that the actors at the station characterise the strengths, weaknesses, potentials and obstacles of PPP management as follows:


  • 30 At least 1.5 million FCFA per month.
  • 31 This delay is linked in large part to the slowness of the signatory players (the town hall, the RAG (...)
  • 32 The municipality could renegotiate the monthly payment amounts upwards so as to reduce the amortisa (...)

61 PPP management has been well accepted by most carriers who have moved into the station after investment under their own funds. The station generates revenue30 for the municipality. It is also appreciated for its offers of integrated security services (police, guards), water and electricity and communication (the station radio). These services are paid for by the companies using the station. The RAGIM’s efforts to mobilise stakeholders and consult with COGES are also well regarded by most of the station’s stakeholders. From the point of view of the concession contracts, the town hall retains the following main positive points: a contract in the process of being finalised,31 and acceptable concession terms32 of less than 20 years.

Serious deficiencies

62 Negotiation: the actors deplore the absence of a broad framework of consultation - including with the mayor - which makes the relationship between the public and the private sector difficult. The COGES, which plays this role of consultation, cannot mobilise the majority of the actors and remains handicapped by the defection of some of its members. This is due to their low motivation as in their view they receive few financial rewards in relation to their involvement in the management of the bus station.

63 Design: the actors - including the town hall - have insufficient information on the characteristics and principles of the public-private partnership project. This is reflected in their caution and the slowness of negotiation in order to comply with the validation conditions and the essential clauses. The RAGIM, which is supposed to guide the municipality on PPP management, may lack expertise on the issue.

64 Principles: There are still shortcomings relating to the fairness of private actors’ access to information on the PPP project, a lack of reflection on risk sharing, and an incomplete assessment of the long-term viability of the PPP project.

65 Quality of services: the various actors are not satisfied with the quality of the services provided by the additional services (insufficient lighting on the site, water leaks, cases of inadequate security such as luggage theft and the burglary of shops). Delays in the payment of transport companies due to the slow signing of the PPP contract also remain a point of dissatisfaction.


66 Advantages have been identified by the actors, in particular the request to incorporate a new major transport company in the station, which indicates that the PPP project experiment can meet the needs of economic actors. Although there are still some reservations on the part of the population, the relevance of the PPP project has also been highlighted in the current national context where the government supports and wants to encourage this type of initiative. As such, the PPP Promotion Department remains available for support and monitoring. We have also noted the interest of civil society organisations in supporting and monitoring PPP processes at local level and popularising them within the framework of spaces for citizen dialogue. In addition, the Swiss Cooperation wants to support this type of process at the level of municipalities and regions through its ‘Decentralisation and Support for Citizen Participation’ programme.

And obstacles

  • 33 Solar pumping with low flow capacity to meet the demands of transporters.

67 The main obstacles observed are the reluctance and suspicion of the citizens regarding the PPP approach, the low capacity of the energy supplier (SONABEL), the local absence of the state’s PPP services and the institutional instability at the level of the municipal executive (4 executives from 2003 to 2015). Difficulties in the design of the Koudougou bus station still remain (dust, muddy ground, a shed that is too small, very weak lighting, difficulty of access to sufficient water).33 These deficiencies indirectly affect the establishment of PPP contracts (additional expenditure requirements by the public authority to meet the needs of station occupants).

Figure 4. Photos showing low quality services

68Entrance facade of the station at night

69Large shelter at night

70 Drinking water service

Source: author.

71 The various shortcomings identified entail several risks that have a negative impact on the implementation of the PPP management approach to the Koudougou bus station. The following analysis makes it possible to list them and to characterise them, and even to assess the size of such risks.

6.2. The main risk factors

72 The different risk factors are analyzed here via the model of Gruber and Rothenberger (2005):

Table 1. Station management risk analysis according to the PPP model




Magnitude of the risks

Operating risks

No limit on construction costs; this may eventually lead to investments that are very costly for the community and additional operating costs;

Absence of a construction model and quality benchmark for materials; this can lead to a product of lesser quality and one that is difficult to control (sheet metal doors; a one-size-fits-all plan for ticket windows; expensive paving or tarmacking, etc.);

Delay in building construction due to lack of construction contracts;

Unofficial facilities (women, tricycles, street vendors, individually-run shops near the STAF wall), more or less approved depending on the case, potential sources of tension and conflict.

Ineffective investments;

More time elapsing before transfer of the property to the municipality;

Limits to the optimum operating of the site;

Insecurity, disagreements between carriers;

Lack of civic behaviour among citizens.



Risks linked to demand

Tensions between actors, related to the allocation of unequal spaces;

Failure to meet new pressing demands for the installation of large transport companies.

Conflicts of interest between carriers;

Questioning the principle of bringing the town’s carriers together in the station


Financial risks

Contractual texts not finalized and signed;

Ineffective start of payments by transport companies due to lack of up-to-date PPP contracts.

Delayed recovery of revenue;

Legal risk related to the respect of commitments.


National and political risks

Insufficient support and monitoring of the application of PPP texts at the level of local authorities.

Citizens’ questioning of the PPP project principle, linked to a negative perception (suspicions of corruption);

Limits to any direct dialogue between the Mayor and the actors of the station;

Instability of municipal councils.

Difficulties promoting the PPP at the level of local authorities;

Tensions, insecurity of investments in the case of violent demonstrations;

Decreased trust and commitment of the actors;

Interruption in or slow execution of the PPP project.


Source: Author, based on stakeholder interviews, 2017.

73 In general, these different risks listed according to the analysis model of Gruber and Rothenberger (2005) are not exhaustive. They underlie deficiencies in design (low predictability based on feasibility studies, a project that does not meet the PPP requirements) and in the implementation of PPPs (a contractualisation that is not established or followed by specifications, a poor understanding on the part of stakeholders of the PPP requirements to be followed) as well as a weak performance by established public instruments (RAGIM, COGES): a low technical capacity of staff in the PPP approach, and a limited effectiveness in the enforcement of contractual requirements by private companies.

74 In terms of the model, the risks involved in use are the most significant. Private actors make investments without any reliable cost reference. Although it is possible to carry out term assessments and counter-appraisals, this can lead to conflicting situations that are difficult to manage. Risks linked to demand are also sensitive. All actors recognise that the different allocation of spaces continues to fuel discontent and tension in the face of this fait accompli.

75 The town still has space to allocate in the station. The arrival of new large companies raises the issue of the criteria for awarding space: how much of it is to be given to newcomers when the old companies already feel that they have not been treated fairly? Under what conditions can one authorise the installation of a large transport company outside the station without questioning the relevance of maintaining those already installed within it? These questions need to be handled with caution and in a participatory way in order to find realistic and lasting compromises.

76 Other risks are ranked low. They have been more or less resolved (via deliberations of the municipal council and management reviews through the RAGIM) or are in the process of negotiation (contracts are being finalised, with the hope of gradually recovering late payments). With the support of the Swiss Cooperation through the Support Unit for Decentralisation and Citizen Participation (CADEPAC), the partnership with the National Directorate of the PPP has been initiated and there plans to strengthen the social dialogue on the PPP with the involvement of civil society organisations.

6.3. Proposed model of conditionalities on information-relevant project-principles and characteristics to be respected, plus partnerships to be developed (IPPP) based on PPP project characteristics

77The characteristics are classified between the validation conditions and the clauses to be respected at the level of the PPP contracts below:

Table 2. Conditions and clauses of PPP contracts

  • 34 In the event of an emergency (…), it is possible to have recourse to a partnership contract without (...)

Validation conditions

Clauses to be respected at contract level

Obligation of prior assessment carried out by the qualified public authority with the support of the PPP promotion department;

Integrate the specific qualities of technology transfer, skills, and job creation for the Burkinabe populations;

Respect the obligation of adoption in the Council of Ministers to be included in the list of the PPP project programme;

Obligation to award by tender in one or two stages with pre-qualification.34

Specify the duration of the contract between the public and private spheres (validity period); specify the objectives;

Explicitly state the conditions for risk sharing between the contracting parties;

Specify the performance indicators expected from the private sector;

Specify the terms and conditions for the fixing and payment of remuneration by the parties; monitoring and control mechanisms;

Set the exact conditions for the transfer of works and equipment by the private sector to the public services;

Specify the sanctions incurred in case of non-compliance with the contract clauses by the private sector (case of performance objectives);

Specify the application requirements of the results of the environmental impact studies; mechanisms for preventing and managing crises/conflicts;

Clearly state the conditions of ownership, transfer of technology, skills and job creation ...

Source: documentary research of the PPP literature.

78This model of conditionality is inspired by the work of Jean Michel Servet (2015) on the conditions for successful microcredit to constitute an effective economic and financial tool in the fight against poverty. We propose it on the basis of the PPP project management experience of the Koudougou bus station. These conditionalities must be followed to ensure the effectiveness of project management in the PPP mode.

Figure 5. PPP contract model

Figure 5. PPP contract model

Source: author

Establishing a relationship of trust between stakeholders and beneficiaries around the PPP

79The PPP contract model has met with a variety of responses. It is simultaneously criticised as a source of exploitation by the private sector, a time bomb, and a new form of ‘neocolonial’ exploitation, and also seen as an alternative to make up for the delays in investments. The main concern is the integrity of the cost of the projects, in this case the fear of corruption, of ‘inefficiency’. In Burkina, this climate of mistrust and reluctance was particularly developed by the post-insurgency context and particularly by the introduction of Law 42-2017/AN easing contractual procedures for the PPP project programme.

80It is necessary to make arrangements (participatory identification of the project, setting up a mechanism for consultation and validation of the choice of the project with the communities for which the investment is intended, information and communication about the project, designating a representative of the project’s target communities and holding periodic project-monitoring-review meetings) in order to restore and maintain confidence in PPP project governance. The interest in involving civil society organisations is unanimous. It is their level of intervention which is divisive: at the level of the commissions of designation of the private actors or at the level of follow-up in the field. The involvement of CSOs in field monitoring is considered more relevant. CSOs do not always have a single, consensual interlocutor. Their involvement in monitoring the implementation of investments and management is possible regardless of their level of representativeness.

81In the case of the station, civil society organisations of the National Council of Civil Society Organisations (CN-OSC) can collaborate with the COGES to develop their actions in regard to information /awareness/inquiry. This would be important in order to overcome the prejudices about PPP which are also sociocultural in nature (mistrust of elected officials, lack of confidence in unfamiliar new mechanisms).

Identifying and formulating relevant PPP projects

82Not every project will necessarily meet the criteria of the PPP. The effect of fashion is such that currently the idea of a PPP project is ritually touted at every opportunity. It is important to surround oneself with all the skills and conditions necessary to develop a good PPP project: conducting feasibility studies, leveraging national expertise, accurately determining risk sharing between actors, ensuring that the gains expected will meet the needs of the people, ensuring that the return on investment is ‘fair’ and of interest to the private sector. The cost-benefit ratio (project efficiency) must be well known before any commitment.

83Everything must be done to ensure that the project takes into account the changing expectations and needs of the final beneficiaries. The project must be part of a public service vision. Also, we must remember that it is an important condition that should guide the public authorities. Whether it is a concession model or a private financing initiative, any PPP contract must be based on an overall contractual agreement between the public authority and the private sector for the investment and/or management of public services. The establishment of a qualified PPP project management system is a prerequisite to be met in order to gather the necessary tools and avoid trial and error. The objective is the identification, formulation and negotiation of relevant PPP projects.

84In this case of the station, for lack of prior evaluation, the cost-benefit ratio remains assumed. The period of management before transfer to the public authority is to be negotiated to speed up retrocession by the private sector.

Implementation and monitoring of contractual requirements related to the principles and characteristics required for PPP projects

  • 35 PPP Promotion Director. It is pre-financing when the cost-benefit relationship for the public servi (...)

85A PPP project must at least be complex to implement (level of technicality beyond the scope of the public authority), innovative (having new ideas to promote, seeking new service proposals in an out-of-the-ordinary way), able to structure and support the transfer of technology and skills (the private sector must guarantee a transfer of skills and technology to the public authority within a specified period). Also in terms of characteristics, a PPP project cannot be conceived outside the contract duly signed between the public and the private sector. This is a guarantee to set the performance requirements to be achieved by the private sector as well as the conditions of risk sharing and conflict/crisis management to ensure the delivery of a high-quality public service. The fact that these basic characteristics are not explicitly taken into account does not make it possible to ensure good management of PPP projects. In many cases, the proposed projects are a response to the ‘pre-financing35 of public service actions by the private sector without any prior feasibility study. As far as the principles are concerned, it is essential to ensure fairness, transparency, the fight against corruption, the effective sharing of risks and the long-term viability of the project. The processing of private partner files must be carried out with objectivity. Bidders must have equal access to the information with the ultimate aim of gaining the best competitive offer of delivery without obscuring the risk of the ‘winner’s curse’. The principle of renegotiation must be used only in the interest of taking into account the evolving needs of the beneficiaries of services.

86As regards the Koudougou bus station, apart from the expected transfer of infrastructure ownership in ten to fifteen years, the basic characteristics have not been explicitly formulated. Companies do not feel obliged to do more than the minimum by their own criteria. It is to be noted, too, that the concession contracts are being finalised. The clauses have been negotiated; but the documents are not signed yet. This is a source of potential legal risks. At the political level, the instability of municipal councils remains a challenge to be included in the PPP contract in order to anticipate palliative measures. In addition, the experience of station management shows that it is also necessary to secure the quality of back-up services (water, safety, electricity) that influence the attractiveness of the site.

Enabling and maintaining broader partnership relationships to enhance the sustainability of a PPP project

87The experience of the PPP approach may go back some time, but it shows few cases of local success. It is important that authorities draw on lessons learned from other actors on the approach to improve and be more effective. In this sense, it is one of the conditions that need to be respected in order to do a better job. The exchange of experiences is essential to improve the consideration of every detail that is useful in terms of contract, risk management and renegotiations so that the same mistakes are not made again.

88The municipality of Koudougou, for the station’s PPP contracts, did not benefit from support of the state services or the national structure in charge of the promotion of the PPP. The advice was obtained from private law firms specialising in legal matters. Beyond the private practices, the partnership involves making contact with the state services in charge of the PPP at the national level for support and coaching if necessary without questioning the autonomy of the local authorities. The viability of a PPP project is a good guarantee of credibility for the public authority and an asset for the development of other services.

7. Lessons learned and recommendations

89In the case of Koudougou Bus Station, the following practices are instructive:

The concession of management

90The concession of the management of the infrastructure by the town hall to an external public company makes it possible to improve the administration of the station: the close proximity of the RAGIM reassures and allows a satisfactory follow-up as well as a good collection of revenue. The city council also believes that it is a delegated management mechanism that allows it to foresee possible difficulties and anticipate certain measures to solve them. Without the RAGIM control, the town hall would be overwhelmed by the problems of the station. That said, the RAGIM staff is not sufficiently equipped vis-à-vis the specificities of the PPP approach. It would be desirable to reinforce staff capacities in this area.

The importance of consultation between stakeholders

91Following the more or less explicit processes that prevailed at the installation of the first major transport companies (STAF, TSR), the various actors feel the need to maintain a permanent dialogue for the management of the station. The monthly meetings organised by the RAGIM with the COGES, although appreciated, are considered insufficient.

92The organisation of a meeting open to all actors of the station is desired, with the presence of the mayor or his representative. This consultation should be organised at least once a semester.

Integrated consideration of installation needs

93Although there were difficulties following the allocation of space, or even the fact that the facilities were deemed inappropriate by some transport companies, the layout of the station installation plan was made with the involvement of all actors, including civil society. However, changing needs have changed the way it is occupied. The option of private investment and installation has led to an influx of actors (women vendors, motorcycle taxis, meat grillers, street vendors, sellers of CD-ROMs, etc.) that were not taken into account in the plans. They are nevertheless recognised as having their place in the station and are currently assigned to specific spaces. They are responding to a demand on the part of those who work there and those who use it by ensuring a diversification of products and bringing the place to life. It is important to integrate them harmoniously in the station and learn from the difficulties encountered in view of potential new realisations of the station layout plan. To do this, the RAGIM holds regular meetings (once a month) with all stakeholders to assess the conditions of installation and adaptation needs. The conclusions of these meetings will be communicated to the town hall for assessment and application. In the case of a new development plan, we suggest the town hall meet the actors of this station for an exchange of views and to take into account their proposals. An ad hoc consultation committee for the monitoring and validation of the management plan could also be established.

Taking into account the specific needs of women

94Women hold the traditional roles of ‘restorers’ and resellers within the station. They all know each other and are easily mobilised for conversations concerning the management of the station. They show great interest in the proper functioning of the station from which they derive a daily subsistence income. They are involved in the COGES, and the RAGIM has made efforts to allocate them a sales shelter. These women are nevertheless among the ‘forgotten people’ of the development plan. Their moving in is not conducive to the sale of their products. To stay close to strategic points of sale (fruits, confectionery), especially near the routes of the transport buses, some settle down in the glaring sunlight and are more exposed to dust and the risk of accidents.

95Ultimately, for the management of the bus station in PPP mode, we recommend the following priority actions:

96Finalise and sign P3 contracts in progress to allow the recovery of payments from transport companies;

97Identify support needs to build the capacity of private and public actors on the PPP approach to improve their ownership, contract development and PPP management practices;

98The town hall and the actors of the station should organise periodically (with a periodicity to be fixed) a participatory assessment meeting in general and PPPs in particular to reduce conflicts of interest and management;

99Support the involvement of civil society organisations in sensitising and monitoring local authority PPP investments in order to improve citizen monitoring at regional and local levels to respect the characteristics and principles of the PPP;

100Ensure the functionality and efficiency of station services (water, security, lighting, hygiene, etc.) to enhance the station’s viability and attractiveness for the private sector;

101Review and harmonise departures and routes to reduce latent tensions between carriers that are detrimental to the smooth management of PPP contracts;

102Find a specific location for women to promote and secure their economic activities within the station;

103Define and establish a ‘win-win’ partnership between the town hall and the national structures in charge of the promotion of the PPP to adapt and participate in the promotion of the PPP approach at the level of local authorities.

8. Conclusion

104This article shows that the model of partnership between the public and the private sector established for the management of the Koudougou bus station, although desired by all parties, has not been a complete success. The town hall - for which it constitutes its first experience in this area - is proceeding with the involvement of private actors who have been able to make equity investments. There is a collective desire to achieve a successful process to reach a win-win agreement.

105The experience of the municipality of Koudougou also demonstrates, despite the known difficulties, that PPP projects can indeed be relevant to improve the capacity of basic social services offerings for the benefit of the population. The Koudougou case study also confirms the many risks associated with PPPs, both for the public and for the private sector.

  • 36 Medium and long-term additional infrastructure costs (costly construction), loss event management b (...)

106This type of project involves complex financial and legal arrangements and, in the case of Burkina Faso, local expertise is lacking. In the event of a bad fit, a PPP contract can be a trap that affects trust between actors with the risk of social conflict, corruption, inadequate services and loss of resources.36 Also, it seems essential to promote a better structure to meet the technical and contractual requirements at all stages of the PPP approach. The proposed model of conditionality is an illustration of this.

107In contexts of social fragility, the perception of PPP projects is not always positive. To facilitate the social appropriation of this type of project, the social involvement of actors and beneficiaries must be achieved with a primacy on information/consultation in collaboration with civil society.

108As in this case study, in the less developed local authorities, there is a twofold challenge to meet the urgent need of the population for high-quality public services. It is both a social and a technical challenge. What measures can be implemented to facilitate the passing of laws, social inclusion, the practice of advantageous costs and the use of local expertise for PPP projects at local authority level? An empirical analysis of PPP experiences at the level of local authorities in the sub-region would be relevant here, to identify strategies that could help improve the quality of services, social appropriation and sustainable management of PPP projects.

Annex 1. Some elements of methodology

Survey Populations

109The survey population includes all the actors of the municipality of Koudougou involved in the management of the station, including local elected representatives, municipal technical services, state representatives, representatives of civil society organisations, private entrepreneurs and users. We conducted individual interviews with representatives of each selected stakeholder category. For this research, the following methods were used: document mining; direct observation; individual and collective interviews.

Document mining

110This provided access to information on national policies, strategies and regulations on the PPP approach in Burkina in general and in local authorities in particular. The research was conducted on the Internet, in the case of public-private partnership management, the Swiss Cooperation Office, the agent, the private companies involved and the municipality of Koudougou. The use of a reading grid made it possible to summarise the points of interest in relation to the research questions.

Direct observation

111This method was used to visually appreciate the quality or functionality of the investments made on the site through the PPP approach. It also allowed the internal dynamics of the station to be observed. These were control markers to triangulate the data with the actors’ assessments. We used a camera and an observation grid for this purpose.

Individual and collective interviews

112Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with the target groups of the study. An interview guide helped to collect the required information, including:

113state representatives: exchanges on the PPP approach (policies, institutional arrangements, information provided on PPPs);

114the representatives of non-state actors (civil society, private companies, local elected officials, technical staff in charge of the dossier at the town hall): the interviews made it possible to describe the PPP approach to the station; to determine perceptions; to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the communication approach for the mobilisation of the private sector vis-à-vis the station’s PPP projects; to identify the strengths and weaknesses related to the operation, the possibilities of development and the respecting of the maintenance requirements of the infrastructures; and, finally, to locate the main lessons to be drawn from the PPP approach to the station.

115Several non-directive collective interviews, one of which was a synthesis, conducted with groups of representatives of the different stakeholders surveyed as a restitution in order to triangulate the analysis data and consolidate the results of the research. In the end, fifty-five people were included and can be represented as follows according to their public or private origins and by sex:

Situation of the people surveyed

















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1 See the situation and general information on (accessed on 28 July, 2019).

2 The BOOT (build-own-operate-transfer) model here represents all the variants, such as BOT, BOO, DBO (design-build-operate), etc.

3 This is also due to the fact that in Antiquity there was no general budget in the modern sense of the term. Each expense had to be covered by a particular receit. So we are not dealing with an exception but a modus operandi. Its description as a PPP is therefore debatable, but is here used as an illustration of the variety of infrastructure financing models in history.

4 One example is the Henri Konan Bédié Bridge in Côte d’Ivoire.

5 Refer to the appendix for more details on methodology.

6 This new law, which was passed to meet needs in an emergency context, does not abrogate Law 20-2013/AN.

7 In particular, Decree No. 2008-173 of 16 April 2008, modified in 2012, relates to the general regulation of public markets and the public service delegations and some sectoral laws (Law no. 053-2012/AN) and concerns the general regulation of the electricity sub-sector of 17 December 2012; Law no. 2013-23 of 30 May 2013 deals with the guidance of investment in Burkina Faso. To these, it is necessary to add all the texts relative to the general regulation of the public markets and the public service delegations (Regulatory Authority of Public Contracts, national strategy for the reinforcement of capacities as regards public markets, public orders, the regulation of delegated public contracting authorities) as well as the decrees associated with the laws passed.

8 At the level of guidance, we have the Council of Ministers, the National PPP Commission, and the PPP Promotion Directorate. PPP projects are submitted if need be to the opinion of the National Committee on Public Debt (CNDP).

9 At the level of implementation, we find mainly: the sectoral ministry and its departments as well as the private partner. The public authority, irrespective of its level of implementation, is thereby obliged to organise planning and accountability so as to report to the sectoral ministry in charge.

10 Law 20, article 28; Decree No. 2014-024, Article 5.

11 This project was partly funded by the Embassy Cooperation Office and the Swiss consular section in Burkina Faso. Start of the project: 2005; occupied area: 4.68 hectares; overall cost: 447,467,699 FCFA.

12 The RAGIM (Autonomous Management of Market Infrastructure) is a public institution with a socio-economic bent, created and placed under the supervision of the municipality of Koudougou. It has no legal personality but is endowed with financial autonomy and has its own assets. It has its own salaried staff. It is designed to be the financial arm of the Municipality of Koudougou. It manages on behalf of, and reports to, the town hall.

13 The COGES (Station Management Committee) is a body set up to support the RAGIM in the management of the station. It mobilises the representatives of the transport companies for exchange and information on questions concerning the management of the station. The COGES is essentially made up of representatives of the various unions of the bus station transport companies. It supports the RAGIM in the collection of parking costs within the station, and regulates the entry and exit of vehicles from the station.

14 Solar pumping with low flow capacity to meet the demands of transporters.

15 The FADEC was set up at city hall level with the support of Swiss Cooperation. It aims to allow the municipality to draw on equity from its socio-economic activities to contribute primarily to the realisation and maintenance of socio-economic investment for the municipality and if need be meet emergency expenses and social benefits charges. The FADEC is funded from a share of the staggered repayments and ‘revenue’ from markets, slaughterhouses, bus stations, etc.

16 These include details on the services provided by the station, its opening hours, the conditions of insurance, the admission of vehicles, general policy, complaints, sales of tickets, drivers’ taking turns on destinations, the setting of departure points, parking, notice of infringements and the sanctions applied, etc.

17 The management has signed specifications with the municipal police, a private security company and concession contracts are being negotiated with STAF, TSR and Pengdwendé.

18 The cost for electricity was estimated at 25 million FCFA to cover the entire station, which is still beyond the reach of the RAGIM. It was hoped that private companies would provide electricity in and around their stations to light up the dark areas.

19 The RAGIM holds monthly consultation meetings with the COGES and reports on management decisions to the town hall.

20 The term ‘forwarding agent’ refers to transport companies that stop at the station to pick up passengers or goods for final destinations other than Koudougou.

21 Among the openly mentioned reasons, let us cite the following : 1) the owners of tricycles are, it is claimed, in direct competition with the forwarding agents, on routes that may extend up to 50 km from Koudougou when they take passengers; 2) freight forwarding agents also believe that large companies are increasingly competing with them on their traditional routes and are increasing the number of services that provide them with passengers.

22 These are the main companies already installed in the station: STAF; TSR.


24 1000 FCFA per square metre.

25 Request from the municipality to remove the responsibility for paving and tarmacking roads from private companies. Consensual estimate of 45 million FCFA for TSR and 76 million FCFA for STAF.

26 PPP promotion director. In his opinion. ‘out of nearly 94 PPP sector projects, there are less than a dozen that meet strict PPP standards’.

27 In addition to the high level of financial investment which calls for caution and its consistency with the objectives of the PNDES, these are projects that raise the issue of sustainability, demonstrating a real potential for impact on the population and the development of the environment (quality of life, etc.); they promote consultation, partnership and the commitment of the stakeholders concerned by a specific problematic; they mobilise and bring together local and regional actors for its realisation; by achieving it, they create a multiplier effect, and make possible the development of other initiatives.

28 4000 m2 to STAF; 1800 m2 to TSR and less than 1200 m2 to Pengdwendé. This being said, the impression of corruption is subjective and depends on the level of information of the actors. In the opinion of the Director of RAGIM who has followed the whole process, this is not the case. On the contrary, a concerted effort has taken place with all parties in complete transparency. Although the decree was not signed by the mayor at the time, the municipal council was involved and had given its agreement for the allocation of spaces.

29 The acronym of the presidential party (MPP or People’s Movement for Progress).

30 At least 1.5 million FCFA per month.

31 This delay is linked in large part to the slowness of the signatory players (the town hall, the RAGIM, the station operating council) to commit, according to the Director of the RAGIM.

32 The municipality could renegotiate the monthly payment amounts upwards so as to reduce the amortisation period of investments and accelerate the transfer of exclusive property to the town hall.

33 Solar pumping with low flow capacity to meet the demands of transporters.

34 In the event of an emergency (…), it is possible to have recourse to a partnership contract without a competitive procedure (Law 20, Article 24). According to Law 20, Article 26, the public authority is also authorised to examine spontaneous proposals (...).

35 PPP Promotion Director. It is pre-financing when the cost-benefit relationship for the public service is neither assessed nor specified.

36 Medium and long-term additional infrastructure costs (costly construction), loss event management by the public.

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List of illustrations

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Title Figure 3. Stakeholders at the station
Caption The strategic partners provided co-financing for the realisation of the station plans. The RAGIM manages the station for the town hall. It benefits from the technical support of technical services and support bodies (COGES). The beneficiaries consist of transport companies (private operators of the station), customers of the shops and other sales services installed in the station as well as passengers.
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Title Figure 5. PPP contract model
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Cite this article

Electronic reference

Jean-Pierre Salambéré, “The Use of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) by a Local Authority: the Case of the Koudougou Bus Station in Burkina Faso”International Development Policy | Revue internationale de politique de développement [Online], 11.1 | 2019, Online since 03 February 2020, connection on 04 December 2021. URL:; DOI:

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About the author

Jean-Pierre Salambéré

Sociologist, accredited in International Development Project Management with Setym/UQAM ESG Canada; Program officer at the Office of Swiss Cooperation in Burkina Faso.

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International Development Policy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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