The World Bank has commended the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and the Minister of State in charge of Public Procurement, Ms. Sarah Adwoa Safo, for introducing a policy that prioritises women, Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and the youth in awarding government contracts.
The Ministry of Public Procurement, led by Ms. Adwoa Safo, recently announced that they are in the process of rolling out a major public procurement policy that seeks to award 30% out of 70% of all government contracts to marginalized groups in society, especially, women, PWDs and the youth.
This initiative falls in line with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision to economically resource the marginalised groups and enable them to also contribute their best toward government’s ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda.
A forum to that effect was held, where the ministry sought the input of civil society organisations, academia, the media and other stakeholders in the public procurement business into the policy document which is yet to be rolled out.
Vinay Sharma, the World Bank Group Director, Solutions and Innovations in Procurement Governance Global Practice, and Dr. Allan V. Burman, a former Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy at the Office of Management and Budget, in a discussion with Ms. Safo at their offices in the United States, noted that establishing the Ministry for Public Procurement is apt since a similar office exists in the US.
The two procurement experts then commended President Akufo-Addo and Adwoa Safo for doing their best to introduce the 30% out of 70% of all government contracts policy to the marginalised in the society.
They indicated that the United States of America has a similar policy, whereby 23% of all government contracts are reserved for women-owned firms.
Mr. Sharma indicated that a study they did in Ghana revealed only 1% of the total government contracts are awarded to women-owned firms, noting that the situation is very bad and does not encourage women to bid for government contracts.
He was optimistic that the 30% policy, when rolled out, will economically empower women and the other marginalised groups in society to be more productive and contribute their best toward the country’s development more than what they are currently doing.
The two leaders were also happy with the President’s commitment to fighting corruption in procurement by establishing the Office of the Special Prosecutor section 3(a) of the Act.
Owing to the good and transparent policies Ms. Safo is introducing, which has attracted the attention of all industry players around the globe, the World Bank and the IMF invited her to attend this year’s spring meetings in Washington DC.