By our Correspondent
It was officially declared, weekend, that the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) has been selected to host the 14th annual East African Procurement Forum and introduce the East African Business Expo 2023.
The Expo is to take place from March 23 – 26, 2023 at the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds in Kampala.
Informatively, the East African Procurement Forum (EAPF) is an event that gathers heads of public procurement regulatory bodies from East African Community (EAC) member states and other participants on an annual basis.
The Ugandan Finance State Minister, Henry Musasizi, made the revelation at Media Centre in Kampala on Friday. He said the forum and business Expo are an opportunity to share experiences and challenges to improve country procurement systems.
In his words, “The forum and expo is a four-day event that will include business meetings, conferences, innovation, networking, generating sales leads and building of valuable relationships, under the theme: ;Open Contracting as a vehicle for sustainable development.”
Continuing he said, “For the first time, the East African Procurement Forum will include the East African Business Expo, which will attract procurement professionals and key industry suppliers from the seven East African countries to share knowledge, best practices, network, as well as avail opportunities for suppliers to showcase their products, goods, and services.”
On his part, PPDA’s executive director Benson Turamye said the authority will host partner procurement regulatory bodies of Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda, among others.
All of these authorities together, Turamye said, regulate over Two hundred thousand (200,000) suppliers with a procurement market size estimated at over $100 billion annually.
Furthermore, Turamye said procurement service providers, suppliers of goods and services, consultants, institutions, and interest groups are invited to participate as exhibitors or sponsors.
And, “The East African Business Expo provides an unrivaled opportunity to showcase products and services directly to key decision-makers involved in procurement and purchasing,” he added.
Significantly, for those looking to do business with government institutions, as well as international agencies in EAC, the Uganda Investment Authority’s Robert Mukiza said the business expo running alongside the forum is a perfect opportunity.
Again, “Suppliers from the seven EAC member states will have an opportunity to engage with hundreds of procurement professionals at the highest level and learn more about their requirements and meet their needs,” he said.
Additionally, he noted that it is also an opportunity to be part of discussions regarding sourcing and doing business in the East African community.
This is as, “Over 500 exhibitors are expected to showcase their offerings including the latest industry innovations, best practices, and new technology solutions,” he added.
Accordingly, during the expo, people will be taken through different business engagement sessions including
*Doing business across East Africa: Getting to know the rules, regulations, and opportunities for suppliers to do business across the East African Member states.
*Sustainable procurement: ;How businesses can identify and reduce the environmental impacts of their supply chains.
*Diversity and inclusion: ;Opportunities for Women and youth in procurement across the region.
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*Presentation from East African crude oil pipeline (EACOP): ;Partnering with CNOOC and Total Energies on opportunities in the oil and gas sector.
*Buyers meeting with suppliers: ;International agency buyers such as AU, UN (arms such as UNDP, UNHCR UNICEF UNGM UNIDO, OCHA, UNFPA, WHO, WB, IMF,) and EAC among others, meeting East African Community suppliers to guide them on governing policies and procedures.
*Investment opportunities across East Africa by the different member states.
*Bid support and using innovation to support procurement across the region.