NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 8 – Women entrepreneurs have received 30,205 tenders worth Sh34 billion since President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to set aside 30 percent Government procurement budget to special groups in 2013.
National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich says a total of 31,946 women enterprises have been registered under the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) program which aims to facilitate enterprises owned by women, youth and persons with disabilities.
Speaking at the third Girls Matter conference at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Rotich said 82,158 enterprises have been registered under the program including the women enterprises, 46, 538 youth business and 3,774 person with disabilities enterprises.
“Youth entrepreneurs got 28,067 tenders worth Sh29 billion representing 45 percent while persons living with disabilities entrepreneurs got 2,643 tenders worth Sh1.8 billion representing 3 percent of the total tenders issued to the special groups,” said Rotich.
The Cabinet Secretary says the programme is expected to benefit more local entrepreneurs with the enactment of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act which now makes it mandatory for Government ministries and agencies to reserve a third of the procurement budget to the three groups.
He adds that AGPO, which is under The National Treasury, now has a preference and reservation secretariat which will advance the interests of the disadvantaged groups.
“We are also facilitating financing of LPOs through the Youth Enterprise Fund, Women Enterprise Fund and Uwezo Fund which will now be collapsed and harmonized to create what we call Biashara Fund,” said Rotich, adding that a revamped online portal will now allow faster AGPO applications with linkages with other Government related agencies.
While acknowledging the challenges of the program, including delayed payments of invoices and misuse of special interest groups status, Rotich has said the special groups will receive priority payment.
“Payment to these special groups will not exceed 90 days, failure to which, the contracted company may demand interest on overdue accounts.”