BIDDING: Women Entrepreneurs Get Tips On Public Procurement Processes


AFIC Executive Director Gilbert Sendugwa and the legal Manager PPDA Masagazi displace anti corruption posters after the training held at PPDA Towers on MARCH 14 2023 PHOTO/PATRICK JARAMOGI


KAMPALA, Uganda [SHIFTMEDIA] A new study conducted by Africa Freedom of Information Center has cast light on the low level of participation by Uganda Women Business Entrepreneurs in public procurement. According to the latest Worldometer  statistics, as of today, March 15 2023, Uganda has a population of 49,971,450, of which over 23 million are females representing 50.7%. But despite this enormous force in numbers, just about 1% of the women registered businesses in Uganda have participated, or bided for government tenders.

The statistics from the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development indicate that over 60% of the budget ends up in public procurement, literally indicating that out of the estimated 2023/2024 Financial Year budget of 49.98 trillion, close to 30 trillion will be spent on public procurement.

Fostering Gender Responsive Public Procurement

According to Olive Kabatwairwe the Programme Associate Africa Freedom of Information Center  the research was to improve the understanding of policies and practices that promote women-led businesses (WLBs) participation in public procurement in Uganda, as well as policies and practices that exclude WLBs from public procurement. ”The research also seeks to identify any existing good practices that can be scaled and piloted to improve outcomes of women’s participation in public procurement through out the entire procurement and contracting process,” said Kabatwairwe.

Some of the participants pose for a photo shoot after the one day training

Addressing Women Led Business delegates attending an AFIC and  the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDA) training held in Kampala on Tuesday, Kabatwairwe said their findings revealed that 21% of the women interviewed noted that the public procurement process was filled with corruption, something they noted discouraged them from taking part in the public procurement processes. ”We observed that many WLBs in Public Procurement are women led in name only. It also emerged that 33% of the WLBs interviewed were contracted for catering services. stationery, or agricultural inputs, an indicator that women are often contracted for lower value contracts than large scale public works,” explained Kabatwairwe.

Patricia Elotu the Programs Assistant at UN Women Uganda said as a women led organization they have always worked with AFIC, Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited (UWEAL) Ministry of Gender, and PPDA to bridge the gap in public procurement done by women. ”Women are faced with many challenges ranging from lack of capacity to social cultural barriers,” said Elotu.  She said UN Women Uganda was working with the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development to bring the women to participate in public procurement.

Women In Business Tipped

The Ag Executive Director PPDA Aloysius Byaruhanga said they had observed a low participation by women in business in Uganda in Public Procurement. ”We have seen very little participation of women, youth and persons with disabilities (PWDs) in public procurement. We re affirm AFICs findings regarding the challenges facing Women in business in Uganda and promise to address the issues raised,” he said.

He noted that they had seen many women succeeding in the private sector, and urged the ladies to replicate similarly in the public sector.

The panelists (L-R) Were from UDB, Daphine Nafula from UWEAL, Alex Odongo from Gulu Contractors Association and Emeru from KCCA PDU

Catherine Natukunda, the Senior Officer Procurement at PPDA urged the women in led businesses to always ensure their bids are smart. ”Always work ethically, have faith and hope, and always put your papers in order,” she said. She advised the women entrepreneurs to always be alert, informing them that not all procurements are advertised.

The representative of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development  Mohammed Ssegonga said the perception that all bidding processes are shielded under corruption is wrong. ”I have been in the procurement for over 20 years, but I have never bribed, yet I get tenders. What is important is to be smart, have all your papers in order, no one will stop you from winning that tender,” he advised.


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