The Kenyan government has procured 104 million U.S. dollars worth of goods and services from women, youth and the disabled in the current financial year, said a senior official on Friday.
Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury, Henry Rotich, told a procurement forum in the capital Nairobi that “this is a direct result of the government’s Preference and Reservation Scheme.”
“However, this only represents three percent of the total available (procurement) opportunities,” Rotich said during the National Public and Disposal Consultative Forum.
“It is expected that more disadvantaged people will access government procurement due to the enhanced capacity building efforts of the public entities,” the official said.
The public procurement and disposal law came into force in 2013, providing a preference for women, youth and the disabled as it set aside 30 percent of the total government procurement to “disadvantaged groups.”
Rotich urged the “marginalized groups” to take full advantage of the policy and participate competitively in public procurement opportunities.
“The optimum public procurement systems are central to the effectiveness of the development and recurrent budgets of any country,” she said, adding that the public procurement could be used to achieve targeted social economic goals.
Deputy Country Director with the United Nations Women Kenya, Karin Fueg, said her organization has worked with Kenya to promote participation of “disadvantaged groups” in the procurement market.
Fueg said Kenya’s decision to provide preference to disadvantaged group, such as women, represents an unique opportunity for small and medium enterprises to benefit from the government supply chain.
She added that while Kenya has made progress in providing access to “marginalized groups”, the uptake still remains low.
“This calls for concerted actions and effective strategies that will increase the participation of women enterprises in the preference scheme,” she said. Enditem