The portal also significantly reduced costs related to transport and printing documents.
Bidders expressed gratitude for the e-procurement services during a seminar organized by the Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA) on the functionality of the portal.
The 2-day seminar was held from March 11th to March 12th, 2020 in Huye District and brought together business owners across various sectors such as hotels, restaurants, private institutions and heads of cooperatives from Huye, Nyaruguru and Gisagara Districts.
The seminar aimed at sensitizing bidders who have not yet registered in the portal to do so and coach first-time users through the process of registering and submitting bids online.
Egide Kayitasire, a businessman and Private Sector Federation (PSF) representative in Huye District said that UMUCYO e-procurement portal solved many challenges including costs incurred during the procurement process.
"Through the portal, bid notices and tenders are published and bidders can apply without physically presenting themselves to a procurement office. The former procurement process was lenghty, costly and complex but now you can buy internet and place a bid using a laptop."
The portal increased transparency in the procurement process given that before its introduction, corruption was a common practice.
Mahoro Vanessa, Light Hotel representative said that the procurement process is far more transparent than before as the portal was designed to comply with RPPA’s regulations and procurement policies.
Munezero Lydia who works at Emmaus Hostel in Huye said that the portal eases the procurement process and allows bidders to obtain documents such as technical specifications on contracts and learn about terms and conditions of public contracts.
"This seminar will allow us to learn about different functions of the portal because you cannot really say you have mastered the process a hundred percent."
New subscribers told IGIHE that the system is easy to navigate and that bidders can see details on transactions including bidders, bid prices, contracts, and evaluation reports.
Nsengiyumva Vital, Jyambere Muhinzi Cooperative treasurer said that the cooperative runs a flour processing plant but that until today they did not know how to apply for bids.
Nayigiziki Boniface, a maize farmer in Nyaruguru district emphasized on the importance of the portal saying that they did not know how to register and submits bids online before they attended the seminar.
Richard Migambi, e-procurement manager at RPPA said that UMUCYO portal encouraged bidders to register on the portal and request assistance to the RPPA whenever they will meet difficulties.
"The online portal provides all documents and information required by bidders and eliminates the need for in-person visits and costs incurred in printing."
The 2-day seminar which was organized by the RPPA will educate about 7490 contractors on the functions of UMUCYO e-procurement portal.
UMUCYO pilot portal was launched in 2016 and availed e-procurement services nationwide by 2017.