Beyond UNCITRAL : the challenges of procurement reform implementation in Africa

Williams-Elegbe, Sope (2014-01)

CITATION: Williams-Elegbe, S. 2014. Beyond UNCITRAL : the challenges of procurement reform implementation in Africa. Stellenbosch Law Review = Stellenbosch Regstydskrif 25(1):209-224.

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Most of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa have undergone some form of public procurement reform in the last two decades. This reform usually takes the form of the passage of new procurement regulation, which is usually based on the UNCITRAL model law as well as the creation of new institutions or the strengthening of existing ones. In addition, procurement reform may be accompanied by capacity building measures directed at the professionalisation of the procurement cadre and the enforcement of a remedial system where there are breaches of procurement regulation. Despite the extensive efforts directed at procurement reform, in some countries, the reformed system does not always yield the desired results in terms of more efficient, transparent and effective procurement. This research examines some of the factors that may undermine public procurement reform in Africa, using South Africa and Nigeria as case studies and concludes that procurement reform in the 21st century may need to be considered from a more holistic perspective if it is to deliver an adequate, modern and well-functioning procurement system, improve public sector governance and accountability and aid socio-economic development through prudent public spending.

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