The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has been appointed by the Algerian government as the lead advisor to assist in mobilising private sector participation in operations of the Houari Boumediene Airport in Algiers.

The government intends to involve the private sector in order to improve the airport’s facilities and services, as part of an effort to develop the country’s tourism sector. IFC has been appointed to help the government implement the private sector participation transaction. This includes creating a supporting regulatory framework and helping develop a model to introduce private sector participation to the rest of Algeria’s aviation sector.

The project is expected to be completed in a year and will be divided into two distinct phases. The first will involve technical and legal due diligence, on the basis of which IFC will structure a transaction. The second phase will entail management of the tender process, during which IFC will promote the project to potential investors, supervise the selection process, and assist the government in choosing the bidder.

Mohamed Maghlaoui, minister of transport, comments that “IFC’s experience in providing advisory services and technical assistance in emerging markets is invaluable. Their ability to bring together investors with specific expertise in the aviation industry and in the emerging economies demonstrates their depth and reach in the market.”

Jesper Kjaer, general manager of IFC’s regional technical assistance facility, PEP-MENA, says, “IFC is well placed to help in this transaction based on our extensive experience in assisting with privatisation processes in the aviation sector. The Algerian government is moving in the right direction by opening the country’s infrastructure to the private sector, which will help provide efficient and less expensive services as well as improve the experience of travellers. These improvements will contribute to growing the tourism sector.”

The Private Enterprise Partnership for the Middle East and North Africa (PEP-MENA) is IFC’s technical assistance facility that supports private sector development in the region. PEP-MENA focuses on improving the business-enabling and regulatory environment in the region; strengthening the financial sector; promoting the growth of small and medium enterprises and their support services, such as business organisations and consulting firms; helping restructure and privatise state-owned enterprises; and developing viable private sector and public-private partnership projects, especially in infrastructure.