The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) board of directors has approved a new procurement framework.
The organisation said though its procurement policy had “served the bank well”, “recent trends underscored the need for a more dynamic policy and procedures that fully support development effectiveness”.
The bank said the changes would allow the full use of borrower country procurement systems for certain contracts, customised methods and procedures for more complex situations and third-party systems in other cases.
The changes are expected to speed up projects by around eight months and generate economic benefits of more then $200 million annually.
Vinay Sharma, director of the AfDB’s procurement and fiduciary services department, said: “The impact of this framework is expected to be significant.
“Country ownership will increase and we will have much greater legitimacy working with borrowers in the improvement of their governance systems.”
Sharma said with a “large number” of contracts being handled by borrower systems, “a sector capacity will be unleashed to handle complex transactions”.
He said differentiated procedures would “especially help countries in transition” while a “focus on socio-economic objectives” would “satisfy legitimate aspirations”.
Sharma said the framework would allow more flexible co-financing arrangements with other donors and the use of technology in African public procurement would increase.
“All in all, this will position the bank to be the partner of choice for borrowers on the continent,” he said.