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Women, youth cash in on 30 per cent tender rule

BUSINESS
By Dominic Omondi | December 9th 2015

There has been a marked increase in the uptake of the 30 per cent preferential Government tenders earmarked for women, youths and persons with disabilities.

According to Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary nominee Sicily Kariuki, the uptake of tender cash has been on an upward trend from a dismal of 30 per cent at the end financial year 2013-2014 to nearly 100 per cent in the financial year 2014-2015.

“Since inception, the ministries had set aside in the financial year 2013-14 upwards of Sh21 billion to be awarded to these groups.”

The numbers

During the same year, the ministries issued tenders worth Sh6.5 billion, which represented 30 per cent of the amount set aside by the ministries,” said Ms Kariuki, who prior to her new posting was the Principle Secretary Ministry of Agriculture.

She added that in 2014-15 Sh17 billion was set aside for the same purpose and by the end of the period, ministries had issued tenders worth Sh16.7 billion. This represented upwards of 97 per cent of the total that had had been set aside by the ministries.

“Overall when you look at the two years, the performance for both stands at about 60 per cent of the total amount set aside by the ministries for these categories,” she said.

Kariuki was speaking at a breakfast meeting organised by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) to discuss the 30 per cent preferential tender rule that favours women, youths and persons with disabilities. In 2013, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed that the rules of procurement be amended to allow 30 per cent of all Government tenders to be given to youth, women and persons with disabilities.

Kariuki added that for the current financial year, Sh17.7 billion worth of tenders have been set aside to be awarded to this groups. But this figure is likely to change with the recent re-organisation of Government, she noted.

So far, about Sh25 billion has been awarded to these groups in the current financial year. Cumulatively, the youth entrepreneurs have been awarded Sh10.6 billion, which is equivalent to 42 per cent, while women have been allotted Sh13.9 billion, which is 56 per cent and persons with disabilities have been awarded 1.6 per cent.

 “The uptake of tenders by these groups has been on an upward trend,” she said

But she reckoned that there are still challenges, including limited awareness by the target groups, and also low knowledge on Government procurement processes by the target groups.

There is also limited access to capital to finance tenders. The Government has also witnessed registration challenges due to applicants who are not able to register because of the limited capacity of supply-chain management officers to handle their cases.

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