The development of Agenda 2063 and the first 10-year implementation plan represent a significant milestone for the continent with a clear articulation of ‘The Africa We Want’ and our strategic priorities. In support of the African Union Commission’s (AUC) 2014 strategic plan and Agenda 2063, essential elements for the success of the African Union Vision (AU), the AUC is proceeding to an overall Institutional transformation to ensure the Union delivers on its mandates and achieve its vision of being “An Integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena”.
The AU has the ambition to further enhance its effectiveness and efficiency to constantly adjust its operations to the evolving needs of the African citizens and drive the Continent’s integration and the institutional transformation process, a prerequisite for organization capacity and systems enhancement, which is required to support it.
Procurement Unit of each Organ, Institution, Peace Support Mission, Regional, Representative Office, Specialised and Technical Agency and Liaison Office is at the centre of driving the transformations required of the AU. In pursuit of this aim, the African Union Commission has revised its Procurement Manual to provide all stakeholders with clearer procurement policies and procedures for better governance and accountability and to improve services delivery to its internal and external stakeholders.
The revision of this Procurement Manual ensures the provision of a clear procurement governance framework that provides direction and oversight to procurement processes and performances. Clear directions, roles, responsibilities and skills in AU Procurement Functions will foster a probity rich environment and minimize risks while delivering on AU’s mandates.
The revision process called for extensive consultation exercises to all stakeholders to produce a comprehensive Procurement Manual for the AU. This will ensure that the Procurement of Goods, Works and Services is executed in a fair, transparent, efficient, and cost-effective manner to achieve Value for Money in all procurement transactions of the AU.
The revision of the AU Procurement Manual necessitated due to the revision of the Financial Rules and Regulations, introduction of new improved practices, policies and procedures and best practices and experience in the area of expertise. Key areas addressed by the revised Procurement Manual are, among others, general procurement principles, procurement functions, roles, responsibilities and accountability, procurement management principles and concepts, decentralization procurement processes for a value less than US$15,000 and e-Procurement.
The revised Procurement Manual will ensure improvement in the area of budget execution, contract management, quality products and services delivery, procurement processing time, management of emergency operations, accountability and responsibility, procurement planning and execution of procurement contracts.
I would like to acknowledge the invaluable policy direction and determination by our Member States on enhanced operational efficiency through accountability and transparency. I feel privileged to have overseen the accomplishment of this worthy initiative.
I call upon our Partners to agree to the utilization of this Manual, rather than their own rules and regulations, for all procurement related activities under projects funded by them.
I also call on the entire staff of AU and other stakeholders to make maximum use of this manual which, I am confident, will inculcate prudence in the use and application of the scarce financial resources made available by our Member States and Partners.