KO Associates Managing Partner, Crispine Odhiambo, speaks at Nairobi Innovation Week 2017 on the innovative approaches to innovative procurement for Government in Kenya.
The Nairobi Innovation Week is an annual, week – long initiative hosted by the University of Nairobi with strategic partners to spur interest in innovation in the country. The innovation week brings together partners from government, private sector, development partners and research centres with an aim of providing a platform for show-casing and encouraging innovation over and above networking and sharing knowledge.
The Innovation Week seeks to show case and recognize innovations by researchers, incubatees (University Innovation Hub and other Innovation Hubs), private companies and public agencies as well as to champion policy discussions on innovation in Kenya. The 2017 Innovation Week was held between the 6th and 13th March 2017.
KO Associates’ Managing Partner and Lead Partner, Projects Department, Mr. Crispine Odhiambo spoke on a panel whose topical theme was, ‘Insourcing: Innovating Procurement to Buy Kenya, Build Kenya’. He was called upon due to his wide expertise in the structuring of Public Private Partnership engagement agreements.
Other panellists were Engineer Stanley Kamau, Director of Public Private Partnerships within the Treasury, Mr. Danson Muchemi – Founder and CEO of Jambopay and payment processing provides, Mr Dennis Gichangi, Director of Development for DewCIS Solutions and the CodePamoja Initiative. The panel was moderated by Robert Yawe, KAY System Technologies Limited
Traditionally, tendering methods have seemed to, on the face of it, value foreign expertise in provision of goods and services, thereby exporting jobs and capital. Taking cognizance of this fact, that tends to favor external companies in procuring of solutions, the panel sough to answer how Ministries and Counties could amend the procurement law and/or regulations to access radically new local innovations that would normally not pass the structured procurement processes and help spur the grow of indigenous industries. Further, how could local innovators become aware of opportunities for insourcing when they became available?
It was noted from the onset that, the insourcing process of solutions more so in the Information and Communications Technology Industry has been one of the most affected in terms of seeking and procuring solutions from Foreign Service providers.
It is, thus with this background in mind, that the objective of this panel was mainly to provide clarity on these issues, learn from the experiences of the panellists and elicit a discussion on the roadmap to access insourcing opportunities.
Crispine indicated how the use of external legal expertise assisted in giving the various special vehicles the fuel to move, which showed how government had transformed from being a behemoth to a lean efficient machine.
From the panel it was evident that there was need for the ICT industry to come together and put forward a common front to be able to work with the government to provide home-grown solutions.
A shift from focusing on one – off products was also encouraged; innovators were encouraged to come up with long term solutions to some of the key problems faced in government. This will indeed be one of the key ways that government will be able to ensure effective service delivery to the masses which building the innovation ecosystem at the same time.