Africa: Invest in Africa Partners CIPS to Enhance Procurement Skills of SMEs

20 September 2019

Invest in Africa (IIA), a not for profit organisation committed to creating prosperous African economies, has in response to current challenges facing the procurement sub-sector in Ghana, partnered the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), the world's largest organisation dedicated to the profession to build the long-term procurement capacities of 50 high potential SMEs under its Home Grown Buyers (HGB) project.

IIA's HGB project is aimed among others at driving inclusive growth among suppliers and buyers alike in its business ecosystem, facilitating local business opportunities worth $50million among Ghanaian SMEs and improving the competitiveness of high potential SMEs for Intra- African trade.

Under the partnership, a statement issued in Accra yesterday said CIPS would work with these SMEs to provide best in- class procurement practices by getting them to undertake a CIPS Skills Gap Assessment which would benchmark their current procurement skills, practices against a Global Standard (of 11 competencies).

"Thereafter, IIA will work with CIPS and other procurement consultants/mentors to provide bespoke interventions to close identified gaps," it said.

The statement said: "CIPS has appointed Harley Reed (Ghana) Ltd, a firm of professionals who provide a wide range of integrated professional services to undertake the training. Upon completion of the two-day training programme, the suppliers shall receive a CIPS certificate of attendance and be entitled to One (1) year CIPS membership with all the accompanying benefits."

In addition to the above, the statement said home grown buyers will also benefit from IIA-sponsored interventions to improve their Go-to-Market capabilities, help them access relevant debt and equity financing solutions, enjoy free business profiling/advertising on key media platforms as well as receive mentorship from senior business leaders in the IIA partnership network

The Country Director of IIA, Mr Clarence Nartey is quoted by the statement as saying that "IIA is committed to enhancing the regional competitiveness of high potential SMEs and believes the partnership with CIPS is a critical enabler."

He stated that, "Together with the Go-to market capability development, building strong skills for effective procurement and supply management is key to ensuring budget efficiencies, improved profitability and overall competitiveness of SMEs in both local and regional markets."

Mr Nartey explained that, "To qualify as home grown buyers, the businesses must have 50 per cent Ghanaian ownership, should have benefitted from any of IIA's three (3) programmes- Access to Markets, Skills and Finance, operate within IIA's six (6) priority sectors, namely; Financial services, agri-business, construction, oil and gas, mining and ICT, demonstrate a clear desire to scale up their businesses and have a local procurement budget of over $200,000 ."

Commenting on the partnership Duncan Broack, Group Director, CIPS said; "The selected SMEs will gain enormously from the training programme. CIPS qualifications are recognised globally as the drivers of leading-edge thinking and professionalism in procurement and supply and we are delighted at the opportunity to impart these skills to suppliers working with IIA."

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