USTDA Expands Procurement Partnerships in Africa

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire– Today the U.S. Trade and Development Agency signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the African Development Bank (AfDB) agreeing to partner under USTDA’s Global Procurement Initiative: Understanding Best Value (GPI).

The MOU signifies the commitment of the AfDB and USTDA to promote best practices in public procurement and capacity building across the African continent through information-sharing, joint planning, and leveraging resources to support the training of procurement officials. Cooperation will include workshops, trainings, new initiatives, international forums and development programs and projects. The MOU aims to provide African procurement officials with the tools and knowledge needed to make sound procurement decisions that result in high quality, sustainable infrastructure.

“With two GPI partners in Africa, we are pleased to be expanding our procurement cooperation with AfDB,” said USTDA Director, Congressional and Public Affairs, Thomas R. Hardy. “We appreciate the opportunity to support the continent’s efforts to achieve better procurement outcomes, while leveling the playing field for U.S. companies to compete for tenders in Africa.”

The MOU was signed at AfDB headquarters, where AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina, led a roundtable discussion on how U.S. companies can better engage with the AfDB on projects, market intelligence, and in the new Africa Investment Forum. Mr. Hardy signed on behalf of USTDA, while on a trip with the President’s Advisory Council for Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA).

The theme of best value procurement continued on the trip as Ethiopia Electric Power (EEP) adopts a new USTDA-funded Procurement Manual to support the utility in obtaining greater value for money by utilizing tools such as life-cycle cost analysis in their decision-making process.

This Procurement Manual will serve as resource for all EEP employees with the hope that it can also be used by procurement professionals and energy industry decision-makers throughout Ethiopia to support policy and strategy development.

“As an electric sector utility, EEP manages a large volume of procurements,” said Engineer Azeb Asnake, CEO of EEP. “To this end having a modern procurement manual is a paramount importance to carry out transparent and competitive procurements. EEP believes that the manual can be a good reference to other sectors as well. The financial and technical support obtained from USTDA falls in line with our capacity building efforts.”

USTDA also announced plans to host an orientation visit for public sector leaders in Kenya focused on how to transition to best value procurement. The visit will introduce Kenyan procurement officials and leaders to international best practices on ways to professionalize the procurement workforce, anti-corruption measures, and the improvement of e-procurement systems to facilitate transparency. The delegation will participate in meetings with U.S. government and industry leaders, as well as attend trainings led by procurement experts from The George Washington University’s Government Procurement Law Program.

Launched in 2013, USTDA’s Global Procurement Initiative: Understanding Best Value helps public procurement officials establish practices and policies that integrate life-cycle cost analysis and best-value determination in a fair, transparent manner. USTDA now has ten partner countries under the GPI, and is receiving requests from additional countries wanting to partner under the Initiative.