Public-private partnerships will help make massive plans for new and upgraded infrastructure a reality
Well-developed infrastructure is a key factor for any country trying to achieve a sustained economic growth.
The Aruban government’s long-term plan is to make urban areas more attractive for visitors and make the island more accessible and better equipped for local people.
Government plans to rejuvenate Aruba’s capital Oranjestad and second main city San Nicolas fall under its Bo Aruba (Your Aruba) initiative, which is pouring 1.2 billion Aruban florins ($667 million) into urban renewal and neighborhood upgrades.
The program entails various infrastructure projects, including the construction of new roads such as a new ring road around Oranjestad and a four-lane road between the capital and San Nicolas.
Structural enhancements in and around the capital city’s historic center are planned, as well as the reconstruction and restoration of existing buildings, new parks and public areas, relocating the container harbor to the outskirts to build a world-class waterfront, and the construction of a trolley system within the inner city area of Oranjestad.
Upgrades of water management systems are also on the cards, consisting of improvements in water capture and storage capabilities, as well as protection against flooding.
According to Minister of Integration, Infrastructure and Environment Oslin Benito Sevinger, initiatives such as Bo Aruba are helping the country to gain a competitive edge over the other Carribbean islands.
“Right now the island is undergoing changes; we are seeing schools and roads being reformed, and in four years we want to see the island renewed,” says Mr. Sevinger.
“We have a maintenance plan to be able to keep all the new infrastructure in shape, since maintenance is essential.
“We also want to stay on the edge of development; regular meetings with all the ministries keep us one step ahead of the other islands and help us see how we can move forward.”
The government is looking for private-public partnerships (PPPs) to help realize its plans.
Mr. Svenger adds: “Aruba is going to organize a PPP center under the United Nations: PPP For The Caribbean, a center of expertise in PPPs where, for example, if Curaçao wants to carry out a PPP, they can come to Aruba to get information and assistance.”