1 May 2011 | Lindsay Clark
Southern African companies and governments need to ensure they have the right procurement skills to help the region take advantage of international investment opportunities.
André Coetzee, managing director of CIPS Southern Africa, told SM that because the continent was attracting the attention of the international investment community it is “poised for growth”. But improving procurement skills is vital to take advantage of these opportunities, he added.
Speaking ahead of the CIPS Pan African Conference 2011, he said: “The one area where Africa can make huge strides towards bettering its position is if it is really serious about transforming procurement. Unfortunately procurement divisions are where all the corruption actually starts. For Africa to really take its rightful place in the international community as an investment destination, this is something that [governments and companies] will have to look at.”
Coetzee said he was excited about the conference, which takes place on 24 and 25 May, because of the strong mix of speakers from the private and public sectors.
Since last year’s event, the profile of the profession had been raised. “There is an increased awareness of the importance of proper governance within the procurement sector. More and more we see public and private companies approaching us to put processes in place to beef up their governance,” he said.
Twenty five per cent of the top 40 firms on the Johannesburg stock exchange are now customers of CIPS Southern Africa, Coetzee added.
The CIPS Pan African Conference includes speakers from Coca-Cola, Transnet, Associated British Foods and South Africa’s Department of Performance Monitoring & Evaluation.