•The company has set aside Sh 3.7 billion of its procurement budget during the current financial year targeting these groups.
•This is up from Sh1.6 billion in the last financial year.
Kenya Power has more than doubled tender allocations for women, youth and persons with disabilities (PWDs), even as uptake remains low.
The company has set aside Sh3.7 billion of its procurement budget during the current financial year targeting these groups, a 131 per cent increase compared to Sh1.6 billion in the last financial year.
This is under the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) programme, aimed at facilitating the targeted groups' owned enterprises to be able to participate in government procurement.
The power retailer has however raised concerns over low uptake of these special group.
The company has noted that of the three groups, women continue to lag behind in the uptake of the procurement opportunities.
It cites lack of duly registered and compliant business enterprises, low understanding of the e-procurement system and failure to ensure that the goods targeted for procurement meet the requisite acceptance tests, as some of the challenges.
“The opportunities exist but women feel that this is a very technical area and as a result, the uptake of these tenders has been very low. The few women who are getting the tenders perform very well by ensuring that they give the best to the company,” Kenya Power’s general manager supply chain, John Ngeno, said.
To address the challenges and increase participation, the company is seeking to partner with women groups to sensitise them on procurement processes and create awareness of existing opportunities.
“We are calling on groups to partner with Kenya Power in workshops and other trainings where we can share knowledge on e-procurement and opportunities that exist for them within the company. We are confident that by reaching out, we can have many of them taking up the tenders,” said Ngeno.
To bridge the knowledge gap, the company is carrying out pre-bid conferences where bidders are taken through the various tender requirements, processes for registration as suppliers, and uploading of documents on the procurement portal.
During the last financial year, only Sh480 million of the Sh1.6 billion set aside of its procurement budget for women, youth and PWDs tenders was taken up.