Title: Multi-Utilities and Access: Can Private Multi-Utilities Help Expand Service to Rural Areas?

Language: English

Type: Document

Nature: Report

Published: June 1, 2002

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Gabon

Sector: Energy and Power

Keywords: Knowledge Lab, Energy and Power


Document Summary:

This case study is part of a series reviewing business models for private companies providing infrastructure services to rural customers in developing countries. The case studies assess factors driving the performance of private companies in a variety of rural contexts and sectors and under diverse legal and regulatory arrangements. The objective is to identify lessons that can inform the design of private rural infrastructure schemes. The primary funding for this series came from the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility, a multidonor technical assistance fund. The World Bank task team for the case studies was Alan Townsend, Clive Harris, Lorenzo Bertolini, Michael Schur, Juan Navas-Sabater, and John Newstead.

Document Details:

In 1997 Gabon awarded the first real concession in Africa , under a contract that introduced coverage targets for expanding service to previously unconnected rural areas. SEEG, the new concessionaire, offers both water and electricity service, with the electricity business cross-subsidizing the less developed water business. Five years on, the concessionaire has performed well in established service areas, often exceeding targets, but has made less progress in more isolated areas. This Note assesses lessons for the design of contracts with incentives for expanding service beyond the immediate circles of major urban centers—and on the potential role of multi-utilities.

Updated: June 28, 2022