, BY CHARLES GICHANE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 26 – Kenyan companies seeking to do business with the United Nations (UN) have been schooled on the organisation’s procurement procedures over the last two days.
The business seminar hosted by the UN and Ministry of Foreign Affairs sought to help Kenyan companies better understand the procumbent procedures necessary to identify and take advantage of business opportunities with the global body.
The conference provided information and guidance to potential vendors and suppliers on the UN procurement regulations and rules, business opportunities as well as offering them the opportunity to undertake preliminary registration.
The UN has had to disqualify local companies that fail to meet its procurement criteria, despite expanding its presence in Kenya over the last four decades through its contributions of an estimated Sh34 billion to the country’s economy.
United Nations Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA) Officer in Charge of Procurement Section Jainaba Camara said the procurement volume moved from Sh3.84 billion (US$ 48 million) in 2010 to an estimated Sh7.12 billion (US$89 million) in 2011.
“The UN experience with Kenyan companies shows that there is a general lack of understanding of the UN’s procurement procedures and; on how; to find business opportunities with us,” she added.
Camara said that local companies need to be more engaged with the UN to ensure that Kenyans fully participate in order to get value of the global institution’s activities in the region.
For the last two years, the UN has been undergoing a reform process that has resulted in the upgrading of its Nairobi offices as well as the appointment of a senior management team to carry out its administrative affairs in the region.
These reforms have led to the increase of its operating budget in the 80 UN agencies operating in Kenya.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Thuita Mwangi said that the Ministry initiated consultations with the UN, resulting in an agreement on the need to give the Kenyan private sector an opportunity to bid for contracts for the provision of goods and services.
Some of the services the Kenyan private sector is offering the UN include, specialist technical and professional services such as; legal, engineering, architectural, aviation, medical and institutional services management.