Prioritising strategic procurement for socio-economic sustainability in Africa

Building on the very successful Smart Procurement World events that take place throughout South Africa, the inaugural Africa Procurement & Enterprise Development Summit event is opening in Zambia on 21 November 2018 at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka.

Andre Coetzee, Chief Operating Officer for Africa Procurement & Enterprise Development Summit, explains that the decision to take the event to Zambia is the result of a demand from industry captains in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. The Africa Procurement and Enterprise Development Summit is a platform for procurement thought leaders to delve into the pivotal role procurement plays as a leverage to reach socio-economic objectives.

“The event, which comprises a number of symbiotic elements, supports the agendas of the World Bank and African Development Bank which focus on harnessing procurement for socio-economic development, creating regional platforms for exchange and using public and private sector procurement to support SMME development,” says Andre.

He adds that the conference will focus on local content strategies and create a platform where public and private sector organisations can network and discuss SMME and localisation strategies. Hand-in-glove with this is the sharing of international best practice in enterprise and supplier development. “We see this as a critical first step in building a strong regional procurement policy. Invited Guest of Honour His Excellency the President of Zambia, Mr. Edgar C. Lungu – will address how the Zambian Government is prioritising sustainable procurement as a strategic function in realising set sustainable and socio-economic objectives.”

The event begins with the two-day conference on 21 November, with the two-day SMME Enterprise Development expo commencing on 22 November and the one-day workshop sessions taking place on 23 November. The event is being organised and hosted in partnership with the Zambia Institute of Purchasing and Supply (ZIPS), Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM), Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) and the Malawi Institute of Purchasing and Supply (MIPS).

The conference tackles a number of topical issues such as the unpacking of the free trade agreement signed in March 2018, and applying critical thinking skills to the procurement process. The esteemed line-up of knowledgeable speakers includes Yonov Fred Agah, Deputy Director General, World Trade Organization, Switzerland, with the event partner institutions presenting from the Zambia Institute for Purchasing and Supply (ZIPS), the Malawi Institute for Procurement and Supply, the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) and the Zambia Association of Manufacturers. These industry bodies will highlight the dictates of the local procurement acts and the consequences for not adhering to the prescripts of the law.

The Enterprise Supplier Development Expo will host verified small local businesses that will showcase products and services to buyers looking to support local sourcing. “This is a valuable opportunity for small business to both interact with a captive audience and network with their peers, and is complemented by a number of on-floor training sessions and workshops geared around simplifying the procurement process for these SMMEs,” says Andre.

Chipego Zulu, CEO of the Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) says: “ZAM is excited to partner with Commerce Edge in delivering this regional procurement summit as effective public procurement systems are at the core of a competitive and robust mining sector. We aim to gain regional perspective on how to ensure public procurement works for socio economic development. The summit comes at a time when Zambia is revising its public procurement act, and can learn from its regional partners.”

Premier sponsors, Barclays Zambia share the fact that such a platform is imperative in to leverage corporate value chains and non-traditional lending to stimulate economic growth.

Attendees at the event will include Ministers, Director Generals, CEOs, CFOs, CPOs, Heads of Supply Chains, Transformation Managers, Chief Buyers and policy makers from all levels of government and the private sector.

For more information on the Africa Procurement & Enterprise Development Summit and Enterprise & Supplier Development Expo being held in Lusaka, Zambia from 21-23 November 2018, please visit the website at: https://www.africaprocurementsummit.com/

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