Mr Samuel Sellas-Mensah, Chief Executive of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), has said developing countries need well qualified procurement professionals to manage the challenges in the current global economic environment.
He said: “The current global economic environment, which is evident in high levels of unemployment, increased perceptions of corruption, inadequate hard and soft infrastructure and devastating effects of climate change, makes it imperative for the continent to have well qualified procurement professionals”.
Mr Sellas-Mensah said this when he opened a three-day Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) Pan-African Conference in Accra on Tuesday.
The event is under the theme: “The Strategic Role of Procurement Professionals in the Development of Africa”.
He said when public procurement was effectively managed by well qualified professionals, there was bound to be rippling effects that could lead to improvement in the economies of developing countries.
Mr Sellas-Mensah said though most factories in Africa might be as productive as those in China and India, the prices of their goods were normally not competitive due to the poor management of their value chains and the lack of requisite infrastructure.
He said there was the need for investment in the training of well qualified procurement professionals who would be able to eliminate all forms of waste and inject efficiency into their sourcing and acquisition process.
Mr Sellas-Mensah said qualified procurement professionals would provide the continent with efficient, professional, accountable and transparent functions, by using their expertise to negotiate and tap into the global supply chain to fit into the principles of procurement.
He said procurement professionals were able to conduct effective ‘supplier and spend’ analysis that would inform managerial decision and align procurement strategies to organizational goals.
Mr Sellas-Mensah said there was a strong correlation between corruption and bad procurement practices and its debilitating effect on African economies, saying countries practicing effective procurement systems were on the path of curbing corruption.
He said investing in the growth and development of procurement professionals on the continent would be a sure way for Africa to realize its dreams and aspirations.
The Chief Executive of the PPA said his outfit had over the years made some achievements due to the development of new procurement monitoring and evaluation tools, publication of manual to operations of public procurement practitioners and training modules of procurement practitioners and the high ratings by the World Bank.
“Our experiences and achievements for almost a decade can attest to the strategic importance of procurement professionals in national development.
“Since public procurement constitutes 20 per cent of GDP of most developing economies and absorbs 50 per cent of their revenue exclusive of government wage bills, it is believed that the procurement function is critical in delivering both functional and horizontal objectives of any development agenda”, he said.