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Fulfilling the promise of e-procurement reforms in Africa

Public procurement — especially manual, paper-based public procurement — has a reputation for inefficiency, corruption, and waste. It is where money, power, and discretion come together in government, making it government’s number one corruption risk. Digitizing the entire procurement process through an electronic government procurement (e-GP) system holds the promise of transforming procurement to be more efficient, effective, and accountable.

Yet, over the last few years across Africa, many governments have struggled to procure, build, and institutionalize e-GP systems despite millions of dollars in headline Public Financial Management reforms from donors, including the World Bank.

What can e-GP implementation teams and their development partners do to fulfill the promise of e-procurement reforms in Africa? We spoke with those at the forefront of these reforms and collated eight key lessons, recommendations, and tools from five countries – Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia.