Kenya Power has urged women to take advantage of Ksh. 3.7 billion in tenders that have been set aside for women and other special groups.

The company has noted that there has been a low uptake of tenders that have been allocated to women, youth and persons with disabilities (PWDs) under the AGPO program. This comes as the company has set aside Ksh. 3.7 billion of its procurement budget during the current financial year targeting these groups.

The Company has noted that of the three groups, women continue to lag behind in the uptake of the procurement opportunities. The low uptake is due to reasons ranging from lack of duly registered and compliant business enterprises, low understanding of the e-procurement system and failure to ensure that the goods targeted for procurement meet the requisite acceptance tests.

“The opportunities exist but women feel that this is a very technical area and as a result, the uptake of these tenders has been very low. The few women who are getting the tenders perform very well by ensuring that they give the best to the Company,” said Dr. John Ngeno, Kenya Power’s General Manager, Supply Chain.

To address this situation and raise the number of women suppliers, the Company is seeking to partner with women groups to sensitize them on procurement processes and create awareness of existing opportunities.

“We are calling on groups to partner with Kenya Power in workshops and other trainings where we can share knowledge on e-procurement and opportunities that exist for them within the Company. We are confident that by reaching out we can have many of them taking up the tenders,” said Dr. Ngeno.

To bridge the knowledge gap, the Company is carrying out pre-bid conferences where bidders are taken through the various tender requirements, processes for registration as suppliers, and uploading of documents on the procurement portal.

During the last financial year, Kenya Power set aside Ksh. 1.6 billion of its procurement budget for women, youth and PWDs tenders out of which only Ksh. 480 million was taken up.