Experts call for transparent procurement systems in Africa

Published by Théophile Niyitegeka
On 5 November 2016 saa 03:52
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KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) — Financial experts are looking for ways to strengthen and improve public procurement systems for better management of public finances in Africa.

Speaking on Wednesday at a regional procurement conference in the Rwandan capital Kigali, they argued that most African economies are losing huge sums of money due to weak public procurement systems, resulting in the declining confidence by donor community in Africa’s governance system .

Rwanda is hosting the 9th East African Procurement Forum 2016 from Nov. 2 to 4 under the theme “Promoting Procurement Practices that deliver better results in Public Procurement”.

“Improving transparency, accountability and efficiency of public financial management institutions and systems should be central to African governance policies,” said Claver Gatete, Rwandan minister of finance and economic planning.

He noted that if procurement systems are improved, there will be positive effects on services, enterprises and economic growth.

“Ensuring public funds are spent transparently and judiciously to deliver better public services should be more of a priority as Africa focuses on continental structural transformation,” Gatete said.

The three-day meeting acts as a platform for identifying and addressing common challenges in public procurement and promoting practices that expand business opportunities and boost trade amongst East African member states.

It has brought together public procurement and financial experts from public and private sector, government suppliers, development partners, and civil society from Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.

According to Laurent Shirima, chief executive of Tanzania’s public procurement regulatory authority, weak procurement processes governing the way public money is spent have led to wasted funds and corruption across African economies.

“We need more streamlined and accountable way of providing oversight of public spending to improve value for money. Strengthening technology, such as the use of e-procurement, will play an important role in improving government procurement systems overall,” he said.