Swaziland finance minister calls on professional bodies to improve purchasing standards

19 August 2011

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19 August 2011 | Angeline Albert

Skilled buyers in Swaziland are urgently needed, according to the country’s minister of finance.

Majozi Sithole’s comments were put to an audience of academics, policy makers, students, businessmen and NGOs who attended the CIPS Southern Africa Distinguished Lecture Series event in the country.  

The audience gathered last month to hear a lecture by Dr Douglas Boateng, a CIPS fellow and CEO of supply chain management consultancy PanAvest International. Sithole’s comments were in support of Boateng’s contention that there are too many purchasing practitioners and not enough professionals.

The minister highlighted the lack of a procurement licence to practice and called on professional bodies to come together to improve standards. “Most independent reports today confirm that supply chain management is among the fastest growing vocations in the world. Unfortunately, unlike other professions, there is no official licence to practice.”

Boateng said the presence of too many purchasing practitioners and too few professionals is causing major competitive and service delivery challenges for companies and governments in the emerging world.

The five-day lecture series, delivered by Boateng, also visited KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape, the Western Cape and Johannesburg in South Africa this month.   

Based on current global trends in CEO appointments, Boateng said discerning procurement and supply chain professionals will increasingly be called upon to take the helm because of their mindset, as well as their vast strategic, governance and performance-driven experience.

Hundreds of supply chain and procurement professionals from the private and public sectors attended the lecture series; the theme of which was the changing role of the function in business and society.

André Coetzee, managing director of CIPS Southern Africa, said: “Judging by the overwhelming success and feedback, I am confident the distinguished lecture in partnership with Dr Douglas Boateng shall become an annual event.”

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