Public Procurement in Africa – Harnessing its potential for socio-economic growth

CoST Malawi joined other leading experts for a high-level conference on public procurement, organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank. Addressing both the opportunities and challenges in the region, the Forum focused on the issue of harnessing public procurement for socio-economic growth and ensuring equity of public investments.

Drawing on CoST’s experience at national and regional level, Joe Ching’ani, CoST Malawi Multi-Stakeholder Group Chairperson, participated in a panel debate exploring integrity issues in public procurement with representatives from AfDB, Transparency International, Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) and the Open Contracting Partnership (OCP).

At the national level, the award-winning CoST Malawi programme has developed strategies and innovations for enhancing integrity in public procurement to support the realisation of socio-economic growth ambitions. For example, beyond training government officials, CoST Malawi has also worked closely with the media to increase their capacity to both hold institutions to account and engage citizens in a multi-stakeholder dialogue on infrastructure investment and transparency. At the Forum, Joe Ching’ani highlighted the success of its SMS platform which provides citizens with a real-time reporting mechanism for infrastructure issues affecting their local areas. Information received via the platform is then reported back to the relevant authorities, who have the opportunity to respond through remedial actions and outreach events.

Joe Ching’ani, CoST Malawi Chairperson, said: “African countries should embrace and adopt transparent governance tools, such as CoST, in order to take the continent’s social and economic transformation agenda further and higher. In the experience of CoST Malawi, building capacity of end users through information disclosure gives a voice to the voiceless in addition to securing confidence and trust: a voice to comment, criticize and suggest objectively.”

For more information on the AfDB’s work on public procurement, check out this CNBC Africa video interview with Vinay Sharma – AfDB’s Director of Procurement and Fiduciary Services and member of CoST Strategic Review Advisory Panel.

Date Published: 25 April 2017
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