Harness procurement for socio-economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa


From left to right: Goodall Gondwe, Minister in Finance, Economic Development & Planning, Malawi; Margaret Mwanakatwe, Minister in Finance, Zambia; Mizinga Melu, CEO of Barclays Bank, Zambia.

Delegates at the inaugural Africa Procurement & Enterprise Development Summit (APEDS) threw their weight behind a drive to ensure that the public and private sectors harness procurement for socio-economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa.

By adopting a resolution and key actions at the summit, delegates acknowledged the urgent need for accelerated leadership and focus on developing sustainable SMMEs through public-procurement reforms and private-sector participation.

The resolution ties in with the summit’s goal to bring together seasoned professionals, dedicated to the changing nature of the procurement ecosystem in Africa to discuss how procurement can drive socio-economic growth, sustainable procurement, localisation, SME development and other topics distinctive to procurement in Africa.

APEDS_delegates.jpgHosted in Lusaka, Zambia, summit speakers shared best practices through informative keynote presentations, practical case studies, thought-provoking panel discussions and workshops. A great deal of knowledge was shared from 21-23 November 2018.

At the summit, delegates continually highlighted the need to ensure the development of SMMEs to enable them to grow and become reliable, competitive suppliers of goods and services. There was also a lot of discussion around the alignment of legislation and regulations to improve the quality of what SMMEs produce, and SMMEs’ capacity to deliver as well as use local products where possible to cut down on imports.

Senior procurement officials (public and private sector) from Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa attended this strategic regional summit, with anchor sponsor Barclays Bank.

MargaretMwanakatwe.jpgThe summit was attended by senior government ministers. Margaret Mwanakatwe, representing Zambian president Edgar C Lungu, discussed how the Zambian government can prioritise sustainable procurement as a strategic function in realising set sustainable and socio-economic objectives.

APEDS_professional_bodies.jpgThe inaugural APEDS was hosted by Smart Procurement, in partnership with the Zambia Institute of Purchasing and Supply (ZIPS), the Malawi Institute of Purchasing and Supply (MIPS), the Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) and the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ).

From left to right: Nyasha Chizu, CEO, PRAZ; Gladys Mwale, CEO, MIPS; Chibwe Mwelwa, President, ZIPS; Faith Musonda, MC

The resolution drafted by the delegates recognises the need for each sub-Saharan country to:
• Develop and implement workable strategies and action plans to ensure the development of sustainable SMMEs
• Mitigate the challenges and weaknesses identified with public procurement reforms in order to enable it to effectively drive forward socio-economic growth through sustainable SMME development
• Share best practice amongst delegate countries

The delegates resolved to commit to the following key actions:
• Elevate procurement to a strategic function to enable it to contribute to realising countries’ socio-economic aspirations
• Strengthen the integrity of procurement systems to enable effective SMME development
• Substantially increase capability building in procurement through competency development in the public and private sectors
• Ensure public procurement is effective in making public-private partnerships (PPP) succeed in Africa
• Ensure that PPP contracts include the participation of SMMEs
• Support the capacity building of SMMEs to enable them to grow and become reliable and competitive suppliers of goods and services

The next APEDS will be held on 20-22 November 2019.

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