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KPC trains 2000 youth, women, disabled on government procurement 

Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) has rolled out a drive targeting to train over 2,000 youth, women and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) who own businesses in a bid to promote the uptake of the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) programme.

Addressing participants during the sensitization forum in Kisumu County, KPC acting General Manager Supply Chain, Maureen Mwenje said the initiative seeks to sensitize the special groups on procurement processes and create awareness of existing opportunities.

The training, Mwenje said, demonstrates KPC’s commitment to promoting fairness, and inclusivity in public tenders and contracts, as well as supporting the growth and development of the targeted groups’ owned enterprises.

“Majority of the youths lamenting about lack of jobs are not aware of the available opportunities to supply goods and services to the government. Through these awareness campaigns we target to educate existing AGPO suppliers as well as the youth, women and PWDs interested in establishing a business partnership with KPC to take up the tenders,” Mwenje stated.

She emphasized that the programme is in compliance with the government’s policy of empowering the marginalized sections of society to access at least 30 percent of government tenders and contracts.

The oil firm has set aside Sh450 million of its procurement budget for the next financial year targeting these groups, translating to a 64 percent increase compared to Sh286 million budgeted in the 2022/2023 financial year.

“From July 2022 to date, we awarded tenders worth Sh419 million to the AGPO group, a surplus of the Sh286 million we had initially budgeted,” Mwenje said.

However, the General Manager cited financial constraints and poor understanding of the e-procurement system as key challenges that hinder the participation of the three groups.

To address this, Mwenje explained, KPC has partnered with several banks to customize financial products for special groups in an effort to increase their participation.

“The youth, women and PWDs owned ventures lack capital and have no access to loans to enable them to supply the services and goods they have been contracted. So far, KPC is providing letters of undertaking where necessary and we have also engaged various banks to provide them with financial support,” Mwenje stated.

She further pointed out that KPC preserves a range of non-technical to technical items including consultancy and cleaning services, supply and deliveries for laptops, staff uniforms, office stationeries, ICT equipment, company’s branded merchandise, mechanical and electrical items for these groups.

The Company is holding sensitization workshops for the small and medium enterprises owned by youth, women and PWDs in Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret and Nairobi regions.

At the forums, participants were sensitized on procedures to register and use the e-procurement portal to place bids, the various tender requirements, registration of various enterprises, eligibility criteria, payment procedures, legal and regulatory framework in order to improve the responsiveness of their tender documents.

By Robert Ojwang’ and Edwin Odhiambo 

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