UN Seminar on procurement
Mogadishu - United Nations (UN) agencies have this week held a one-day seminar for Somali entrepreneurs in Mogadishu, to inform them how to do business with the UN in Somalia. Participating UN agencies included the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UNHABITAT) and United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS).
According to organizers, the meeting was aimed at strengthening relations between the local business community and UN agencies, to help spur economic growth in the East African country.
Mr. Safiou Esso Ouro-Doni, Deputy Country Director of Operations for UNDP Somalia, welcomed the participants and thanked them for their attendance and interest in partnering with the UN. “The UN is committed to developing the capacity of Somali businesses to partner with the UN and so contribute to growing the economy in Somalia,” he said.
Mr. Franco Sanchez, the Head of the Integrated Office of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator/ Resident Coordinator in Somalia said: “This seminar is organized to convey to you some of the rules and regulations of the UN in order to partner with institutions, companies and NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) that you represent,” said
Mr. Sanchez noted that UN, which has a big presence in Somalia comprising more than 20 agencies, is keen to do business with local companies in a transparent manner.
“We want to continue to be partners of Somalia, partners of Somalis and of course partner with Somali companies to allow us to work together,” he said.
The Deputy Finance Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia, Abdullahi Sheikh Ali, who also attended the seminar, urged the Somali business community to work hard and build capacity of their companies to compete favourably for contracts. “The government is ready to help you but you need to adhere to the procurement procedures. You need to build your competitive capacity to be able to secure the contracts,” Mr. Ali said.
The participants were taken through a number of topics, namely the procurement process, preparing and submitting a bid, evaluation and contract management and payment.
Most of the participants were optimistic that the seminar will enable them understand the UN procurement process and help them to compete for opportunities.
“This is an important conference for us and has brought the business people together. This gives us confidence. Understanding the UN procurement process will give us the opportunity to deal with the UN harmoniously,” said Ms. Istarliin Ali Mohamed, one of the participants who attended the seminar.
Her sentiments were echoed by Abdulrahman Mohamed Mohamud, the Chief Executive Officer of Kafi Logistics Company, who described the seminar as crucial for the Somali business community.
“We came to this conference because it is important. I participated because I wanted to have a better understanding of the UN procurement system,” said Mr. Mohamud.
Representatives of local companies involved in construction, Information and Communications Technology, printing, firefighting, supply and maintenance of security equipment, and maintenance of armored vehicles among others attended the seminar.
The UN aims to continue holding supplier events in locations around Somalia.