Although PPPs are often hailed as the best route to infrastructure development, there is however surprisingly little understanding of what they entail amongst policymakers. This is even more so in situations of fragility. The first task of this paper is to provide a contribution to a better understanding of PPPs in fragile or low-income countries by shedding light on what are PPPs in practice. The paper’s second main objective is to highlight the advantages and pitfalls of PPPs, apply them to the realities of Guinea-Bissau and provide recommendations on the best course of action for their development in the country. The analysis asserts that building a viable PPP framework in Guinea-Bissau is a medium to longterm task which needs to be undertaken step-by-step. Continuous improvements – rather than large leaps – are advocated, amongst which (i) setting core regulatory principles; (ii) start small and thereafter fine-tune with lessons learned; (iii) map out predictable administrative process and build capacity amongst relevant players of the public sector; (iv) accumulate experience of fiscal responsibility and PFM improvements; (v) clarify institutional arrangements right from start; and (vi) leverage on development partner’s expertise as local capacity is built. The ultimate goal is to go beyond “a project-by-project” approach, to deploy a system for planning, delivering and operating PPPs.