Unsolicited bids do have a role to play in African infrastructure procurement, but do come with risks.
During a panel discussion at Pinsent Masons’ Africa Infrastructure Conference, held in Johannesburg, this week, a panel of speakers pointed out that unsolicited bids in infrastructure are regulated as part of concession law. It is permissible in many African countries to procure large infrastructure projects through such infrastructure bids.
Unsolicited bids have mainly been successful in the energy environment, as the turnaround time to implement energy projects is much faster than, for example, that of building a road.
The panel noted that unsolicited bids could bring about greater efficiency and discipline in infrastructure project delivery, but that political and perception risks could hamper such projects.