Youths to get 10% government tenders
YOUTHS will from next month be entitled to 10 per cent of all public procurement deals with the establishment of an affirmative action in their favor. The public procurement deals are estimated to be worth about Sh75 billion involving supply of goods, services and professional skills to government offices, projects and to all local authorities.
This will shield young start-ups owned by people between 18 and 35 from stiff competition from large established companies. “The government is aware that youth with a few months or years of experience in the public procurement tendering process cannot compete effectively with large established firms with several years experience in the tendering process,” said Njeru Githae the Minister of Finance.
He was officiating the national sensitization, registration and pre-qualification exercise process of the Youth Access to Government Procurement Opportunities in Nairobi. The affirmative action has been established based on the new constitution which places the youth among disadvantaged groups and thus opening up opportunities to them. President Kibaki gave this directive in February while marking five years of the Youth enterprise Development Fund.
So far, about 300 youth groups have been registered with the Ministry of Finance ahead of pre-qualifications and distribution to different ministries depending on the nature of services or goods they want to provide. “Those registered can from July participate in tenders of different ministries,” said Celestine Otunga, the director for public procurement at the ministry.
The ministry said the plan is to continue with the affirmative action even when the county governments are fully established. Githae also added that the Kazi Kwa Vijana project may be transformed to be supporting youth creating employment rather than giving them jobs. This year, the government allocated Sh491 million to the youth empowerment project covering labor intensive works and social services.