The inaugural Africa Procurement & Enterprise Development Summit event was held at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka, Zambia between 21 and 23 November 2018. Attended by government officials as well as senior delegates from Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa, the Summit focused on capacity building of SMMEs.
Andre Coetzee, COO for Africa Procurement & ED Summit, says that the event equipped SMMEs to grow and become reliable and competitive suppliers of goods and services. The Summit also provided them with invaluable information on regulatory measures that will result in the improvement in quality of their offerings. “Furthermore, it allowed stakeholders to identify the capacity of the SMMEs to deliver their goods. Finally, we believe that it provided impetus for the reduction of imported goods and encouragement to replace these imports with locally produced goods.”
According to Minister of Finance, Economic Planning & Development, the Honorable Goodall Gondwe, who spoke on behalf of Prof. Peter Mutharika, President of Malawi, in order for the economies of the participating countries to deliver on their economic growth, governments need to recognise the role of procurement with regards to SMME suppliers.
“If we look at the activities that government is working on to realise socio-economic development, especially Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, we can see that public procurement will play a critical role in the attainment of sustainable development goals. This requires deliberate efforts in a number of areas including human capital, use of technology, improved organisational structure, SMME empowerment, use of sustainable means of procurement and a deliberate investment in youth development,” he says.
The Honorable Margaret Mwanakatwe, Minister of Finance delivered a presentation entitled ‘How the Zambian government can prioritise sustainable procurement as a strategic function in realising set sustainable objectives’, on behalf of the Zambian President, His Excellency Edgar Lungu.
“One of the challenges that has been brought to my attention is that most of the local bidders find it very difficult to prepare a winning bid or tender document. Events of this nature are the conduit for the cream of procurement experts who prepare tenders, evaluate them and award them. It is therefore critical that SMME stakeholders take the time to learn how to prepare winning tenders and understand how the contracts are being handled. If adhered to, this will lead to more local contractors being awarded projects and will positively contribute to the National Budget,” she says.
The Zambia Institute of Purchasing and Supply (ZIPS) says that the Summit provided a melting pot to eliminate the traditional barriers that exist between industry business leaders, SCM practitioners, corporates, SMMEs and the physical geographic borders between countries. “The stellar cast of speakers provided engaging and thought-provoking presentations which were further enhanced by the active participation of the delegates. The Summit provided a call to action which unpacked the theme and resulted in over 20 hard hitting practical resolutions.”
The Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) says that the summit marked the beginning of regional efforts to alter procurement practises and that the organisation is fully behind the initiative.
The Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) and the Malawi Institute of Purchasing and Supply (MIPS) lauded the event, believing that it will be the catalyst for “turning things around in procurement and SMMEs”.
For more information on the upcoming series of Smart Procurement World showcases for 2019, please visit the website at: www.africaprocurementsummit.com
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