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Public procurement offices in Africa

Swaziland finance minister announces procurement reform


Supply Management

29 February 2012 | Angeline Albert

This year, the Swaziland government plans to introduce a public procurement agency to oversee the purchasing carried out by public bodies.

In this national budget speech, finance minister Majozi Sithole said that the Swaziland Public Procurement Regulatory Agency will be created in the 2012/13 financial year.

As well as overseeing public purchasing, the agency will provide an independent forum to assess suppliers’ complaints. In addition, a code of conduct for public sector procurement officials will also be adopted.

The changes come as a result of the country’s Procurement Act of 2010, which gained assent from His Majesty King Mswati III last year. The act also disqualifies public sector workers and politicians from supplying government with goods and services.

In his budget speech, Sithole said: “Government understands that improving public procurement can generate savings without compromising services to the public. It is also an area prone to corruption. That is why we have a new procurement act. In 2012, the government will apply the changes required.”

The minister emphasized the need for stronger fiscal discipline in government by investing in cost-saving policies, improving procurement and public finance management and fighting corruption.

Zambia: Sata reverses bank sale, says state house stinks with graft


PHOTO| AFP Zambia’s new President Michael Sata (right) reacts as he is congratulated by former President Rupiah Banda during his swearing-in ceremony at the Supreme  Court in Lusaka, on September 23, 2011.

PHOTO| AFP Zambia’s new President Michael Sata (right) reacts as he is congratulated by former President Rupiah Banda during his swearing-in ceremony at the Supreme Court in Lusaka, on September 23, 2011.

By ELIAS MBAO DAILY NATION Correspondent
Posted  Monday, October 3  2011 at  20:27

Zambia’s President Michael Sata today reversed the previous Government’s sale of a privately-owned bank to South Africa’s FirstRand, dissolved several parastatal boards and revealed that the nation, including State House, was “stinking with corruption”.

Speaking at State House after he swore in permanent secretaries and other senior Government officials, Mr Sata, who was elected two weeks ago, cancelled the Rupiah Banda-administration’s sale of Zambian-owned Finance Bank to South Africa’s FirstRand for $5.4 million.

“I have been doing a search [on] the so-called sale of Finance Bank, there isn’t even any document for sale. Therefore, I am instructing the Ministry of Finance to take the bank back to the owners of the bank, immediately,” President Sata said in a verbal decree.

The Banda-administration sold Finance Bank mid last month despite public disapproval. Mr Sata had promised during campaign that he would reserve the sale.

President Sata also dissolved, with immediate effect, the boards of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), state-run power utility – Zesco, the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA).

Before his election, he had accused the three institutions of graft.

The President also said he had retired the former managing Director of Zesco, Mr Ernest Mupwaya in the public interest  and reinstated Mr Cyprian Chitundu who was previously the Managing Director but was ‘‘dismissed unfairly.”

The President also sacked Banda-appointed police chief, Francis Kabonde, and replaced him with Dr Martin Malama.

“The police have to help us sweep; there is so much dirty including this office where I am, there is so much corruption. So much corruption that this country stinks and that is why people cannot get what they want,” said President Sata, 74.

“Zambia is so dirty, even my own office, some of the people who are supposed to be guarding me they even benefited from corruption,” he said.

He vowed to fight corruption.

“I don’t need any corrupt money for my campaign or for my re-election or PF re-election,” said President Sata, adding that he wants his Government to serve Zambians not him as an individual.

The Zambian leader dismissed all 72 district commissioners that were appointed by the previous Government, saying they were politicians, and ordered them to immediately vacate their offices and houses.

We cannot have civil service positions given to political parties, he said. “I have therefore fired all the district commissioners and appointed civil servants to take over from them,” said President Sata.

He also abolished several Government positions.

The new leader called for mass investment in road construction countrywide.

$38bn/y needed for African infrastructure to create growth platform


Star High Way Sign
Image via Wikipedia
August 4th, 2011

Political leaders attending the 13th African Renaissance Conference in Durban on Thursday argued that increased infrastructural connectivity between African countries should be prioritised, as it would create an important platform for social, political and economic development on the continent.

At present, only about 10% of African trade was intracontinental, while the balance was with countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

South Africa’s Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba argued that yearly infrastructure investment of $38-billion would be required over the next ten years to deal with the current deficits and to create the basis for greater trade and investment within the continent and with trade partners.

The bulk of the flows would be required to bolster energy capacity, but large logistics-related investment was also key to unblocking the current constraints to intraregional trade and to stimulating new agricultural, mining and manufacturing activities.

As a result of the lack of transport infrastructure, Africa has become a target in the global scramble for resources, but social and political integration must be lead by Africans themselves as those who are still keen on plundering the continent don’t have the will to help us solve our problems,” he said.

“However, without infrastructure, economic activity will be stifled.”

He pointed out that China had identified Africa as a target for increased investment, which had risen dramatically over the past decade. “But we must not be romantic because Chinese involvement in Africa is for its own benefit,” he said, arguing that South Africa needed to develop a strategy for engaging China in Africa…One of the problems facing the country was that financial institutions were not focusing on financing production. Also, too few of the investments in public procurements were stimulating industrial development.

“While trade with other Brics partners quadrupled between 2006 and 2010, this mainly involved primary products, an issue that the Industrial Policy Action Plan is seeking to address,” he said.

The country was currently making a number of amendments to its national procurement mechanisms and the New Preferential Procurement Act is due to be implemented on December 7, 2011. Davies said this would designate particular sectors for a range of procurement activities that would focus on local participation.

Government, he said, was working to introduce localisation into its new policies and to build in embedded suppliers.

Further, the Industrial Development Corporation had revised its business model and would disburse R102-billion over the next five years for investment into sectors that could support growth and new jobs…Read more.

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