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Kenyan President Delivers E-Procurement Ultimatum

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta is getting aggressive on federal digital procurement policy. According to reports, the official gave government agencies one week to adopt e-procurement strategies on Wednesday (March 11), or risk being reprimanded.

“I am reminding government officials that they are left with one week and all those in charge of government agencies will be held personally responsible if they fail to adopt the e-procurement system,” he said in a statement at the Kenyatta International Convention Center.

Kenyatta did not elaborate on what would happen if officials failed to meet the deadline.

E-procurement practices are becoming increasingly common throughout governments the world over, largely as federal officials look to reduce costs. But Kenyatta’s e-procurement push is part of new efforts to improve federal transparency in the handling of finances and tender processes, said reports.

“Our objective is to ensure all procurements are made public for wananchi [the public] to see the transparency of the process,” Kenyatta said.

All principal secretaries, directed cabined secretaries and chief executives have been instructed to integrate procurement activities onto an online platform that will be available to the public. According to reports, procurement of goods and services by the Kenyan government accounts for 50 percent of its spending every year. The online procurement platform, Kenyatta hopes, will secure public trust in how their taxes are being spent.

The financial savings from switching to a digital procurement platform, reports acknowledge, will also offer benefits to the government, but officials added that they hope to strengthen relationships with suppliers by offering vendors an easier way to access tender offerings, documents, and a simplified bidding process.

The innovation of technology for Kenya’s financial sectors has strengthened in recent years, largely due to the many under- or unbanked in the nation. Kenya telco Safaricom, for example, has launched a mobile money initiative and recorded $1.59 billion in revenue in Kenya from its M-Pesa service.

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