KAMPALA–The annual East African Procurement forum has concluded today at Serena Hotel in Kampala amid calls to the East Africa partner states to embrace public procurement and investment.
“Some of the key factors that continue to drive regional integration of the EAC partner states are procurement and investment,” Richard Karamagi, the procurement officer East African Community Secretariat-Arusha, said.
Karamagi was speaking at the closure of the three-day forum that brought together participants from across the region.
“It not only results into movement of capital across the region but can also allow the movement of services, goods, workers and personnel thus contributing towards increased integration,” he said.
The forum was the third edition organised in Uganda after the initial one in 2008 dubbed as ‘Enhancing the effectiveness of public procurement systems’ and in 2013 under the theme “Achieving value for money in public procurement.”
Held under the theme; “Leveraging Technology for Improved Procurement outcomes”, this year’s forum aimed at bringing together the public and private sector actors from the East Africa partner states to share best practices as well as challenges in the public procurement sphere.
The forum was officially opened by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda who commended the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority(PPDA) for bringing the event to the fatherland for a third time.
The PPDA board chairperson, Simeon Wanyama, urged participants to remain committed to improving the procurement landscape in the region and beyond.
The EAPF is an annual event that is hosted on a rotational basis by the public procurement regulatory authorities of the East African Community partner states.
This year’s event was attended by delegates from partner states including Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda (the host).
The event was also graced by guests from Nigeria, Malawi, Zambia and other countries. The delegates discussed a wide range of issues, ranging from Public procurement systems and policies to enforcement measures.
Karamagi, a former officer of the national Social Security Fund-Uganda, also quoted Article 35 of the CMP which provides that partner states shall not discriminate against one another in the field of public procurement.
‘We need to harmonize the procurement frame work so as to achieve progress and move forward,” Karamagi concluded.
The Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaijja, officiated at the closure of the three-day event.