African governments advised to engage in transparent procurement practices

African governments have been advised to engage in more transparent procurement processes and also introduce more competition in procurement systems to help reduce corruption.

“Procurement is one of the areas that corruption develops so we should be more transparent in our procurement processes to help reduce corruption,” the World Bank‘s Lead Economist and author of the report, Africa’s Pulse, Punam Chuhan-Pole said during the launch.

She said limiting the number of permits and licenses and investing in infrastructural reforms could also help in corruption reduction while creating jobs.

The report showed an upward tick in economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa-Regional growth is projected to reach 2.6 per cent in 2017 but Punam says African countries should  borrow more judiciously, manage borrowing to avoid interest rate risks and also ensure that interest rate risks are manage appropriately as  African countries rebound.

Asked why there have always been ongoing conversations on macro stability and fiscal discipline but no improvement across the continent, Albert G. Zeufack, the Bank’s Chief Economist for the Africa Region observed that, “there has been some level of improvement, comparing Africa then and now just that change is not happening in a uniform manner.”

The report suggests that although economic growth in the continent is rebounding, a stronger-than-expected tightening of global financing conditions, weaker improvement in commodity prices, and a rising protectionist sentiments represent downside external risks to the outlook

It adds that on the domestic front, risks to the current recovery stem from inadequate pace of reforms, rising security threats, and political volatility ahead of elections in some countries.

Countries are advised to undertake much needed development spending while avoiding increasing debt to unsustainable levels.

The Africa’s Pulse report dedicates a special section to analyzing the region’s infrastructure performance across sectors, revealing dramatic improvements in quantity and quality of telecommunications contrasted by persistent lags in electricity generation and access.

By Pamela Ofori- Boateng

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