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Friday, July 12, 2024

Businesses embrace e-procurement system

Story by Tichaona Kurewa

Local and international businesses are embracing government’s shift to a streamlined e-procurement system, triggering a surge of over 100% in supplier participation.

As part of continued efforts to tame corruption, government operationalised the electronic Government Procurement (e-GP) system at the beginning of this year after its launch in October last year.

In the last quarter alone, the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) revealed that the number of registered vendors on the government’s online portal has more than doubled, jumping from just 4 000 to over 10 000.

The dramatic increase is attributed to the government’s implementation of a user-friendly e-procurement platform.

“One thing we are happy about as a regulator is once we started implementing the electronic government procurement, ordinarily you would have say 4000 suppliers registering during the first quarter of the year because they won’t be much activity that time, but this time around because it brought out a lot of confidence and you would find that we had more than 10 000 suppliers registering in the first two months of the year.

“This is a sign of confidence because it brings a lot of transparency in the way we do things, how public procurement is conducted and this is a confidence booster. It brings a lot of fairness along the way because people would now see, they go on to the platform, its easy to use. People are not travelling to Harare to come and register, you do it in the comfort of your home or your office,” said PRAZ’s chief executive officer, Mr Clever Ruswa.

The surge in supplier registrations reflects the enthusiasm for this new system.

A legal practitioner, Mr Tonderai Mutasa said, “This is a game-changer, before some businesses especially SMEs wouldn’t have even known where to begin when it came to government tenders. Now, with a few clicks, they can see what’s available and compete on a level playing field. I believe this increased competition will not only benefit businesses but also lead to better value for taxpayers’ money. With its user-friendly interface and clear instructions, participation is becoming easier than ever. This shift towards digital procurement is a positive step for Zimbabwe’s business environment, fostering transparency, competition, and growth.”

The surge in supplier registrations is a clear indication that the e-procurement system is achieving its intended goals.
The e-procurement system offers several advantages for businesses and government, including eliminating the need for complex paperwork and provides transparent access to bidding opportunities.

Additionally, smaller businesses that might not have the resources to navigate traditional procurement channels now have a level playing field to compete for government contracts.

For the government, the e-procurement system simplifies the entire procurement process, saving time and resources.

The increased competition among suppliers also helps ensure government gets the best possible value for its purchases.

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