Thomas Kase at the East Africa Procurement Summit

My US based colleague, Thomas Kase, has a very international background being Swedish by birth and having worked extensively in Japan and all over the world. He also speaks 5 languages proficiently and has some knowledge of several others – puts most of us Brits to shame.  So it is perhaps not surprising that he was asked to chair the recent East Africa Procurement Summit, and he send us back a series of very interesting articles which have been featured on Spend Matters US.

His first covered his journey, which made my 5-hour delay at Gatwick recently look like a minor irritation. He ended up being  a day late into Kenya, but he managed to give us a few procurement angles to his problems as well as commenting on French cuisine!  Oh yes, his luggage got left behind too...

His second article focuses on the Kenyan Public Procurement Act and its aim to eliminate corruption in procurement – but might it be having some unintended consequences, he asks? For instance, is there too much focus on basic price rather than true value because of the Act?  (His luggage turns up too)!

In his third post here, he talks about Kenya, and its attractions for foreign investors, as well as highlighting the presence of Chinese firms and people in the country, and the opportunities for service providers in the procurement space.

“ The maturity of the market seen from a solution provider perspective is nascent. Opportunity to launch a company delivering business network, sourcing suite, supplier management, GPO contracting, or related procurement services seems high, and even P2P should be workable considering the high penetration of smartphones. The IT firms here are more focused on basic hardware services. Let’s see who among the western solution providers will be inspired to open an office over here!”

In post number four, Thomas  gets into security issues – in particular pirates! He talks to a “retired” British Air Force military man who now guards ships on their way through the dangerous waters off the Somalian coast. Perhaps that sort of precaution is why we’ve heard less about piracy recently.

There’s more to come apparently, but I’ve already very much enjoyed reading the posts, which have a good blend of general and procurement content. So if you’ve got any interest in Africa from a business or personal angle, it’s well worth taking ten minutes to read what Thomas has to say.

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