Scheme granting youth access to Sh75bn contracts to be launched
Posted Wednesday, June 27 2012 at 19:47
A new scheme which could enable young entrepreneurs access a share of Sh75 billion government procurement contracts will be launched on Friday.
The director of public procurement at the Finance Ministry, Ms Celestine Otunga, has asked youth entrepreneurs and youth business owners interested in supplying goods, works and services to the government to register with the ministry of Finance.
Youth enterprises will also be required to provide details of their preferred type of business, profile of employees, and the business turnover.
“Youth enterprises and youth business owners interested will be required to have a national identity card or a passport, a business registration certificate or a certificate of incorporation and a personal identification number (PIN) or a VAT certificate,” Ms Otunga said in a press statement on Wednesday.
The sensitisation and recruitment initiative, Youth Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (YAGPO), will be launched in Nairobi on Friday before moving it to other counties.
It is being implemented in conjunction with the Youth Enterprise Development Fund and the ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
By targeting companies run by the youth, the government will help develop the start-ups and create more jobs.
President Kibaki asked Finance minister Njeru Githae and Attorney-General Githu Muigai in February this year to remove all “legal bottlenecks” and restrictions that have dogged the implementation of the policy adopted more than five years ago.
Some of the bottlenecks to be removed include lowering the cost of bid documents and reducing or scrapping bidding bonds.
The bonds are a cash deposit which assures that should a bidder win a particular tender, he would be able to execute the contract as provided.
The President also asked all ministries to ensure they include youth-focused targets in the performance contracts in all government departments.
There have been fears that some youth may be locked out of the initiative due to lack of financial muscle and experience to win government tenders.
But this may be overcome after government-owned Consolidated Bank signaled that it would use the Sh4 billion it expects to raise through a corporate bond for long-term lending, particularly to youth who supply goods to the government.
According to the public procurement directorate, between 60 to 75 per cent of the total budget goes to procurement.
This means that in the new financial year that begins next week, young entrepreneurs will be entitled to between Sh60billion and Sh75 billion.