Ugandan women ask for tender changes
KAMPALA-UGANDA ---Uganda Women Entrepreneur s wants the government to review the country’s Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act and come up with new provisions that enable women to compete for public contracts equally with men.
“Each year Government spends trillions of shillings in the procurement of goods and services to suppliers through government procurement market ,but only 1% goes to Women Based organization to this effect more needs to be done by government to integrate women based business into the supply chains that is why we need new procurement Law which at least guarantee 10% of
the market to Women and other special Interest groups such as youth and people with disability” Dr Gudula Naiga Basaza the Chair of the Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited (UWEAL) said recently
UWEAL thinks the current rules are often complex, burdensome and costly that they dissuade women-based organizations from participating in tendering. This in spite of the fact that the government is the largest spender.
Basaza said many businesses belonging to women are collapsing because they cannot penetrate the business /market opportunities available in most government Institutions such as ministries, autonomous agencies thus remaining the mercy of the undeveloped private sector as sole consumer of their services and goods but on many occasion the market is not reliable when it comes to pay suppliers.
UWEAL with about 10000 members spread country wide, the organization has tried to train its members on the basic of doing business this has helped to attract Regional development partners such as trade mark East Africa to commence supporting the Associations with financial grants such that Women can participate in the regional markets in the East African Community Countries.
Recently in 2015 UWEAL managed to secure support from Trademark East Africa worth $497,750 to finance trade project like Uganda Women in Trade a, regional trade development program which aims at improving and increasing the business competitiveness
The project targets about 4,400 Women from Light processor and Women Urban Traders in the East African regional market.
However for such project to yield positive results to Women Entrepreneurs in the Country, the Doing Environmental Legal regime should be conducive to Women in their mother country to participate in the provision of services and goods on the public markets before they consider markets in other countries in region.
Some of the major obstacles which are hindering the UWEAL members to effectively participate in the public procurement markets include the pre-qualification which makes it barriers for Women to participate in the procurement process.
“In many cases Women entrepreneurs are dissuaded from the procurement process because the registration and pre-qualification process are too complex too long or they do not meet some of the prequalification requirement” The chairperson told the East African Business Week as UWEAL prepares to celebrate the Month of Women Entrepreneurs (MOWE).
Other challenges is associated with the requirement for the Audited financial accounts according to Gudula it’s among the biggest challenges to women Entrepreneurs, she said Many Women are Interested to trade with Government but have not been trained in the basics of accounting to properly maintain their books and records and to have them audited as required by the Law in the procurement process.