THE Minister of State in charge of Public Procurement, Sarah Adwoa Safo, has charged African leaders to invest heavily in technology and innovation in order to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Of particular importance is the supply chain sector which she believes will help reap the enormous benefits of a development that is sustainable to protect nature for the next generation.
“This is the time to collectively rise as a continent to bring innovation through science and technology to properly and effectively manage the supply chain of both public and private sectors. That way, our economies will flourish and the future of our next generation will be protected,” she noted.
Ms Safo, who is also the Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament made this observation when she addressed the Zambia Institute of Purchasing and Supply (ZIPS) annual national conference which was held in Livingstone on Thursday, May 30, 2019.
She spoke on the theme: ‘Promoting Ethical Procurement Practice through Good Governance and Sustainable Development’.
Her call was premised on an article by four scholars from the Ohio State University and the University of Nevada, who argue that; “streamlining cross-company processes is the next frontier for reducing costs, enhancing quality and speeding operations. It is where this decade’s productivity war would be fought.”
Ghana, the Dome-Kwabenya MP said, as part of steps to address some of the challenges of globalisation, had developed a new policy framework on technology and innovation to drive the implementation of its sectoral policies, programmes and strategies at all sectors of the Ghanaian economy.
For instance, she said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had established a Presidential Advisory Council on Science, Technology and Innovation (PACSTI) to advise him on such issues and ensure the full implementation of the policy.
“Government as part of this policy will establish the Ghana Innovation and Research Commercialisation Centre that will serve as the bridge between the government and public research institutions, academia on one hand and industry on other.
“The Centre will establish incubation centres with basic facilities that our innovators will need to compliment the work of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Plan (NEIP),” she told the gathering.
Ms Safo said it was important African leaders took inspiration from what Ghana and South Africa were doing by adapting digital procurement to address corruption in the procurement procedures in spite of the connectivity challenges associated with it.
“Per a research finding by Forrester Consulting for Ivalua, only 16 per cent of businesses had an advanced level of digital maturity in procurement, which gives them a competitive advantage over rivals though 65 per cent assessed themselves as advanced,” she observed.
“In the 21st Century of Globalisation all efforts for promoting sustainable development in Supply Chain Management needs a collective effort at the global, continental, regional, sub-regional and national levels.
“We would need from the private and public sectors, innovation, creativity, pro-activity, political will to reach the uttermost level of sustainable development in supply chain management,” she added.
BY TIMES REPORTER