Green Public Procurement Initiatives in East African Community (EAC): The Way Forward

Green Public Procurement Initiatives in East African Community (EAC): The Way Forward

Rajesh Kumar Shakya (The World Bank, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7083-7.ch007

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the green public procurement initiatives taken by the countries in the East Africa. The East African Community (EAC) Head of States signed the East African Monetary Protocol Union (EMPU) protocol on November 30, 2013. One of the key ingredients in having a sustainable monetary union is to harmonize public financial management systems amongst the EAC Partner States and the EAMU protocol has referred the provision of harmonization of public procurement policies. The first stakeholder' workshop on the harmonization of public financial management standards in line with the EAC Monetary Union Protocol held during March 14-17, 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya identified green public procurement (GPP) strategy as one of the key policy areas requiring development and harmonization across the member states. This initiative should also be viewed in the context of the Member States' Public Procurement Reform Initiatives, which contains a suite of measures in relation to public procurement. Reform of the public procurement function is, and remains, driven by the need to obtain maximum value for public money in procuring works, supplies, and services.
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Introduction

East African Community comprises of five countries: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda (Figure 1). The Environment and Development conference at Rio de Janeiro in 1992 was a significant milestone in building awareness about the green public procurement. In many African countries already, the export of products is threatened by international green trade barriers which directly affect business competitiveness in the global market. Besides, facing to a variety of competitive pressure from the external environment, the enterprises in the Africa region has initiated the green procurement to improve its competitiveness across whole supply chain from the procurement of raw materials, processing, production to delivery to enhance its competitiveness by minimizing the overuse and waste of materials, and recyclable packaging of the products.

Green procurement is becoming a cornerstone of environmental policies all over the world, especially popular at European Union Member State (Tukker et al., 2008). However, even in Europe, most of the organization have not fully implemented GPP. United Nations's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) has played a driving role in making all emerging countries as well as developed countries to come forward with the sustainable and green initiatives to meet the SDGs.

Figure 1.

East African community

978-1-5225-7083-7.ch007.f01
Source: Mapsofworld, 2018

East African Community (EAC) and its member states also have started Green Public Procurement (GPP) initiative to catch-up with the rest of the world. The initiative for green procurement by the East African Community (EAC) is in support of the goal of the United Nations (UN), which is to become climate neutral and environmentally sustainable gradually. In the case of public procurement, the inclusion of environmental, economic and social criteria in the procurement of goods, works, and by procuring entities help facilitate sustainable procurement. In this context, the East African Monetary Protocol Union (EMPU) protocol signed by the Head of States of the East African Community (EAC) on November 30, 2013, is the key milestone. One of the vital components of the protocol is having a sustainable Monetary Union to harmonize public financial management systems amongst the EAC Partner States. Alongside, the EAMU protocol has referred to the provision of harmonization of public procurement policies. The first stakeholder’ workshop on the harmonization of public financial management standards in line with the EAC Monetary Union Protocol was held during March 14-17, 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya, which identified Green Public Procurement (GPP) Strategy as one of the critical policy areas requiring development and harmonization across the member states. In addition to that, 10th East African Procurement Forum held in Kampala, Uganda during 1-3 November 2017 also emphasized the need for harmonized green procurement guidelines in the EAC member states (PPF, 2017).

Public procurement is the tool for implementing development programs spending public fund. This GPP initiative should be viewed in the context of the EAC’s recently announced harmonization policy plans, which contains a suite of measures concerning public procurement. Harmonization of the public procurement functions across the EAC states is primarily driven by the objective of achieving the best value for money in spending public fund for the use in development works and acquiring services. Another revolutionary agenda to harmonize the green procurement strategy is, therefore, a significant initiative, not just in introducing a sustainable development mindset within public procurement practices, but also in ensuring that EAC taxpayers’ money is spent wisely. It is necessary to underline, that the annual public-sector procurement budget accounts for about 20% of EAC’s GDP. This provides EAC’s public sector with considerable leverage to stimulate the marketplace in favor of the provision of more resource-efficient, less polluting goods, services, and works.

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