KIGALI - Rwanda will early next month host the fourth East African Procurement Forum (EAPF), which will bring together about 200 participants from all members states of the regional bloc.
The EAPF is held annually on a rotational basis starting from 2008, and the theme for this year is; “Improving the Efficiency of Public Procurement in East African Community for Economic Growth.”
It is expected to bring together various players from member states to discuss and come up with plans to develop a mutually agreed public procurement policy in the bloc.
“All actors in public procurement will have chance to discuss several issues involved; they are also expected to come up with strategies to boost public procurement in EAC, as a single bloc.” Said Augustus Seminaga, head of the Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA
He added that though it is currently possible for any entrepreneur from any of the EAC member state to win a tender in another partner country, there was still need for formulating uniform procedures to address issues like corruption in the tendering processes.
Christophe Nzakamwita, the Director of the Auditing and Monitoring Unit at RPPA, added that Rwanda had achieved a lot in containing graft in public procurement which is a major issue, though statistics were not readily available by press time.
He further explained that most of the few claims of graft are filed by some disgruntled bidders who resort to trading fictitious allegations after failing to fulfil the required conditions.
“Some entrepreneurs don’t present complete requirements and blame tender boards for being corrupt when they fail to make it through,” he said.
“Otherwise, Rwanda has achieved a lot in curbing corruption for the past years, especially due to the strict monitoring by the RPPA, along with the Auditor General’s office”.
Seminega added that RPPA is conducting a series of trainings for bidders in all provinces to increase their skills, and generally boost the sector.