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Gov’t electronic procurement system to synchronize with Tele birr

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Public Procurement and Property Authority (PPPA) gets underway to make procurement of tender documents for government-based tenders only through telebirr after integration with its electronic government procurement (eGP). In addition to tender documents, the authority is also planning to make telebirr as the only e-payment instrument for public procurement.
“Previously, revenue generated from bid documents has been high. We aim to promote the eGP and increase the number of registered suppliers and so far, more than 1333 tender documents have been published on the eGP website to which suppliers have free access,” said Abebe Alemu, communication specialist at the eGP project office indicating that the authority estimates about 35,000 suppliers are found in the country, with about 8000 so far being registered within the system, which was introduced about a year and a half ago.
Using Telebirr, the authority aims to increase efficiency, transparency, and accountability in the procurement process in alignment with the government’s goal of promoting a cashless economy as well as in reducing corruption in public procurement.
“Now both the number of suppliers and tenders is increasing, which is an opportune time to make payments. The authority is working with Ethio Telecom to integrate eGP with Telebirr. There were some issues that need to be ironed out and this is expected to be solved soon with integration said to follow,” the communications specialist said whilst highlighting on the status quo of the matter.
As Abebe indicated that the authority is planning to fully apply telebir as its payment instrument in the next budget year and additionally supplier’s registration and renewal will be through telebirr which is now free.
“The authority is doing an assessment to see the overall revenue that the government offices are generating from tender documents,” he explained.
In Ethiopia up to 70 percent of government’s annual budget is allocated to public procurement, while public procurement takes up 14 percent of the GDP. So far, for those included on the new platform, carrying out procurements through eGP is believed on average to reduce 50 percent of the procurement transaction costs.
From the recent related headlines, on the way to modernize the government procurement with eGP, lack of willingness to perform procurement operation via the new platform, lack of commitment from the leadership at public offices and low human resource and infrastructure were noted as challenges besides limited awareness about the system among the business entities.
So far the procurement platform is handling 74 public offices as of April, 2023 and is expected to jump to 125 by the end of the budget year from the total 169 public offices accountable to the central government.
Telebirr which officially commenced operation in the first half of 2021 as a business arm of the state owned telecom giant for its mobile money service has garnered over 30.4 million customers with over 283.2 billion birr in transactions.
On the other hand, the integration with eGP will be a new big lucrative advantage for telebirr business since the major portion of government’s budget is spent on procurement.
Additionally government is also working to make fuel transactions fully electronically through telebirr, from May 9, 2023 andfrom April 24, 2023 for stations in Addis Ababa. Last week, to this end, Ethio Telecom, Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration and Ministry of Transport Logistics held a trail testing in selected gas stations in Addis Ababa.

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