CIPS has been awarded a grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve the procurement of medical supplies across Africa.
The grant will be used to develop the CIPS African Healthcare Procurement Community Programme, a learning network that will run over three years and see CIPS working with on-the-ground agencies to strengthen procurement processes and provide the knowledge to deliver improved procurement spending.
The community will be developed initially in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya and cover all aspects from procurement to supply chain management and logistics, ensuring full end-to-end supply chain analysis and recommendations made.
CIPS will support the learning network through its training, qualifications, global standard and competency framework and partner relationships in the region.
Speaking at the launch event in South Africa, Dr. Sedese Moseneke said the network would create “opportunities for more successful supply chain management” and the technology and knowledge of global best practice of how to procure would be welcome.
While Africa’s healthcare supply chains are prone to disruption such as bribery and corruption, governance indicators released by the World Bank highlight that the level of corruption limits a country’s ability for progress.
According to the African Union, as much as 25% of the GDP of African states is lost to corruption each year, amounting to up to $148bn but research by the World Health Organisation many countries are able to improve health outcomes with even low levels of investment due good governance in procurement.
The aim of the network is to build a sustainable public procurement community in healthcare supply chains and to introduce globally-recognised standards to the wider procurement community in Africa.
According to Malcolm Harrison, group CEO of CIPS, procurement practice can play a huge role in protecting the health of citizens as vital medical supplies often not reach the people who are most vulnerable.
He said: “This has shocking consequences with the failure to stop preventable diseases, and the loss of life which impacts on families, the capacity of the region’s workforces and ultimately the effectiveness of economies.
“Every procurement professional must ensure that they are fully informed of exactly what is happening throughout their supply chains. Not only must they know who all the suppliers are, but also they need to win the hearts and minds of all the people in the suppliers they work with. That is an essential requirement in all sectors and there is no sector more important than healthcare,” he said.