A comparative analysis of public procurement reforms in Africa: challenges and prospects

In the new millennium, a wave of public procurement reform swept across the African continent. From north to South Africa, countries engaged in extensive legal, institutional and organizational reform of their procurement framework to make the procurement system fit for purpose, transparent, accountable and less prone to corruption, fraud and mismanagement. Apart from reform at the country level, Africa also witnessed the regionalization of procurement regulation,1 with the aim of providing regional coherence and uniformity in procurement regulation towards the better integration of common markets in Africa.
This paper will compare and highlight the approaches to procurement reform adopted by selected African countries in the west (Ghana), the south (South Africa), north (Tunisia) and the east (Kenya), to examine the commonalities in relation to procurement reform in Africa, and to determine whether it can be said that there is a move towards the harmonization and congruence of procurement norms and practices in the African context. The paper will then examine the regional approaches to procurement harmonization to examine the development of this approach to procurement regulation and examine its possibilities and the challenges it presents.
It will be seen that although much has been done in relation to legal procurement reform in Africa, challenges still remain in relation to institutional and organizational reform. In addition, although regional approaches might be useful in fast-tracking domestic changes, the reliance on procurement to achieve local policy goals, power relations, differing legal systems, the intractable practice of tied-aid and a lack of willingness to give up sovereignty is likely to hamper the full realization of regional initiatives...

Sope Williams-Elegbe
no 1
s. 11