Kenya’s president has threatened to fire officials who are late to pay suppliers owned by disadvantaged groups.
Under the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities law (AGPO), 30% of all government procurement spending has to be awarded to enterprises owned by young people, women or persons with a disability.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, speaking at a youth summit, told attending government officials they would be sacked if they did not pay suppliers under AGPO on time.
“AGPO is now law. It is not a question of policy. I promise you will not hide or be transferred. You will leave and create opportunity for those who are willing to abide by the law,” president Uhuru Kenyatta said, according to state media.
“We must empower our young people today because if we don’t take advantage of this biggest single asset that we have as a nation… we will have not future,” he added.
Kenyatta also used the speech to call on Kenyans and the media to project the country in a positive light. “Kenyans are the most negative about their country even when foreigners are positive,” he said.
AGPO was introduced in 2012 as an attempt to provide economic opportunities for disadvantage groups through government contracts. It sets aside a percentage of contracts to be given to these groups without competition from established firms. The percentage was increased from 10% in 2012 to 30% in 2013.
Although Kenyatta’s speech focused on youth owned enterprises, the policy also covers micro and small enterprises, local and citizen contractors and citizen contractors in joint ventures with foreign suppliers.
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