NAIROBI, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Kenya will host a regional annual East Africa procurement forum next week in Nairobi to discuss the current reforms, trends and developments in the public procurement systems, organizers said on Wednesday.
The three-day event, which runs from Nov. 28 brings together about 300 participants from the public and private sectors, professional bodies, civil society and training institutions, among others from Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.
Maurice Juma, director general of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA), said the overall objective of the forum being providing a platform on which stakeholders will deliberate on issues aimed at strengthening integrity, transparency and accountability in national procurement systems within the East Africa Community (EAC) region.
"The forum is expected to come up with resolutions to be implemented by partner states to strengthen integrity and accountability in national procurement systems within the EAC region," he said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
Juma said the delegates intend to root for the usage of information technology to address corruption in the procurement system.
He said the main goals of the forum include highlighting the key issues affecting the transformation and modernization of the public procurement systems; forging a common front among EAC member states on the value of public procurement for the promotion of good governance; and professionalization of procurement practice through legal mechanisms.
The meeting comes at a time Kenya has amended the law twice to conform to the trends of the times and largely to as well create employment opportunities for her citizens, notably the youth and women.
The government says its committed and has already put structures in place that ensure new spending through small and medium enterprise suppliers with an intent to widen public sector procurement to include SMEs.
"Our ambition is that at least 30 percent of spend on government procurement flows to SMEs directly in the supply chain as this would complement the strategy of youth and women employment in the country," Juma said.
The forum is convened on a rotational basis by the public procurement regulatory institutions within the EAC partner states.
Since its inception in 2008, the forum has provided a vital framework for information and experience sharing amongst the participants drawn from the procurement and supply chain management policy makers, regulators, and practitioners in public and private sector.
Kenya, through the PPRA, is hosting the event for the third time, having done so in 2009 and 2014.