African Public Procurement heads sign digital revolution declaration

Global Public ProcurementMore than 300 delegates from 83 nations attended the conference on behalf of several procurement agencies. (Image source: AfDB)Thirteen heads of Public Procurement Regulatory Authorities from Africa have committed to using innovative technologies to improve public procurement processes in their respective countries

The digital revolution in public procurement declaration was signed following the two-day Global Public Procurement Conference held in Washington DC from 18-19 September 2018. The declaration established the basis for collaboration between the regional member countries of the Bank and the multilateral organisations on public procurement initiatives.

The meeting was hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IaDB) in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB). Other participating institutions included the World Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, the Inter-American Network on Government Procurement, the International Development Research Center, the Organisation of American States, and the Open Contract Partnership.

The theme of the conference, ‘Towards the Digital Frontier,’ set the tone for discussions about innovation and leveraging technology for public procurement and information sharing. Participants shared insights on emerging e-procurement initiatives and policies, disruptive technology in public procurement, adopting and implementing new technologies, data management and strategic marketing for digital reform, amongst others.

In a separate discussion on the sidelines of the conference, representatives of the Bank and the African delegates also mooted the idea of establishing an African Public Procurement Network that would explore and seek to implement pan-African, regional and country-specific e-procurement initiatives.

Saer Niang, representing the Procurement Regulatory Authority from Senegal, said, “Africa is at the crossroads of development. This conference provides an important networking opportunity and is an eye-opener for many African countries in modernising their procurement function,”

AfDB’s lead procurement policy officer, Ashraf Ayad, noted, “The AfDB’s new procurement framework encourages the application of new technologies and promotes the use of electronic procurement. Our countries in Africa are at different levels of adopting electronic government procurement and any other form of new information system, which will facilitate and make much more efficient countries’ procurement activities.”

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