How eProcurement is Helping Governments Deliver Much Needed Resources in Africa

BradYoung04 By BradYoung04, 15th Dec 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1k2to-fb/
Posted in Wikinut>News>Politics

An analysis into the trend towards eProcurement systems in African governments

Introduction

A number of African countries have in recent years come round to the idea of utilizing eProcurement systems to better facilitate cross department purchasing and reduce wasted time and money. But what is eProcurement and how is it helping Africa?

Understanding the Principles of eProcurement

eProcurement as a method of streamlining purchasing processes has been gaining momentum in recent years, across both the public and private sectors. It is particularly useful in helping to centralize procurement as a function in large organizations, bringing about more efficient and timely delivery of resources whilst allowing for significant cost savings thanks to improved relations with competing suppliers.

The popularity of eProcurement systems being adopted by governments can be explained by the concept lending itself so well to large scale public sector operations. In cutting out red tape, lengthy contract negotiations and the associated bureaucracy, purchasing through properly implemented eProcurement portals can help to achieve the best deals with the best suppliers competing on a level playing field to deliver the best value to the purchasing entity.

How is eProcurement Helping in Continental Africa?

Whilst it is always dangerous to make sweeping generalizations about entire continents, at the same time it can be reasonably argued that many African governments suffer from corruption and various external influences proving to be barriers to progress, in terms of instigating policy changes or simply achieving the goals they had set out to achieve.

Uganda’s New Vision newspaper reports that a traditionally “lengthy procurement process” sees billions of Ugandan shillings that have been allocated to public entities, returned to the national treasury at the end of each financial year, as the beneficiaries of these funds simply cannot get them spent in due time. As a result, the Ugandan government this week launched a five year strategy on e-Government Procurement (e-GP), which it hopes will reduce the failings of government departments, ministries and local authorities to deliver agreed goods and services to the public.

Similarly, neighbouring Kenya’s government took the decision to move to an eProcurement platform earlier this year in an effort to “weed out corruption while also speeding up the procurement process” according to industry journal pymnts.com, further reinforcing this perceived continent-wide problem of corruption, red tape and bureaucracy hindering progress.

Cost saving may be the primary driver of eProcurement adoption in the developed world but across the African continent in some of the lesser developed nations a major concern is combating the corruption and slow progress typically made through traditional procurement routes. In this regard Tanzania is another example of a developing African country taking the decision to potentially adopt eProcurement standards. The Tanzanian government decided to assess whether eProcurement would work for them back in 2010 with a feasibility study into “implementation of full eProcurement in Tanzania” for similar reasons to both Kenya and Uganda.

Has eProcurement in Africa Been a Success?

It is too early to tell whether the adoption of eProcurement systems across African governments has been a complete success as it will inevitably take some getting used to and the processes will need to be further streamlined and optimized before they are fully beneficial. However the signs are that it is a great model that will soon surely spread to other forward thinking governments, in the same way as it is gaining such traction across the private sector.

Thanks for Reading

Thanks for reading. I welcome your comments on the trend towards adopting the eProcurement model in developing and developed countries, across both the public and private sectors. Please check out some of my other articles on Wikinut such as Fighting Piracy in the Shipping Industry and be sure to follow me on Twitter too.

Tags

Africa, Eprocurement, Government Policy, Kenya, Procurement, Tanzania, Uganda

Meet the author

author avatar BradYoung04
I am a MBA grad who can transform your business. Follow me for straight talking insights into running successful businesses in a fast paced world. I am always working or surfing in the Californian sun

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Comments

author avatar Ptrikha
21st Dec 2014 (#)

Great way of governance and Development!

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author avatar BradYoung04
5th Jan 2015 (#)

I agree Ptrikha! It's definitely the way forward

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