The third General Assembly of the African Public Procurement Network (APPN) got underway in Abidjan, intending to ensure that representatives from APPN member countries share experiences and enhance their skills, learning from experts from nations with the most effective public procurement systems.
Massanfi Bamba, President of the Côte d’Ivoire National Public Procurement Regulatory Authority and of the APPN, at the opening of the Assembly, said “This General Assembly aims to strengthen the achievements of public procurement in Africa and to fortify its role as an instrument for sustainable development”.
“This framework will provide an opportunity for APPN members to exchange views with experts on the most recent public procurement innovations and to position themselves as a major lever for the implementation of development policies in Africa. We need to move towards the creation of national ecosystems for public procurement.”Massanfi Bamba
Swazi Tshabalala, Senior Vice President of the African Development Bank Group, partners of the APPN, praised the initiative to build the capacity of public procurement stakeholders. “Public procurement must reduce social inequalities and contribute to innovation,” she said. “The African Development Bank will continue to support the APPN on a long-term basis to achieve these development objectives.”
“Expectations are high,” said Elhadj Malick Soumaré, representative of the Islamic Development Bank in Côte d’Ivoire. “Public procurement is a strategic component in achieving development objectives. To that end, we need to devise a well-developed roadmap.”
Representing the World Bank at the ceremony, Kofi Awanyo called for the digitalisation of public procurement to accelerate procedures, improve the public procurement system, and interaction between governments. “We need to have a common platform, think about what we have achieved, come up with new ideas, strengthen our commitment, and make a significant difference in the lives of our communities.”
Abdourahmane Cissé, Secretary General of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, stressed the need for transparency at a time marked by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war. “We have an obligation to ensure that every penny obtained is used in the best way possible,” he explained. “Consequently, we need a thoroughly optimised public procurement market.”
Mr. Cissé said the theme of the third APPN General Assembly, “Public Procurement for sustainable development in Africa”, highlights the need for modern and transparent procurement procedures. “Public procurement must serve as a lever for the development of the private sector, and small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa,” he concluded.
Representatives from 43 African states formally established the African Public Procurement Network (APPN) in October 2018 in Lomé, Togo, by signing its articles of association. The main purpose of the APPN is to provide a platform for learning and networking to public procurement policymakers, regulators, and practitioners of its member countries.
The APPN is the largest formal public procurement network and includes almost all African countries, grouped into five sub-regional networks.
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