The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) has held the 2015 Pan-African Supply Chain Lecture series under the theme “Were we ever on the Same Page? Negotiate, Agree on Specificities and then Contract”. The event took place at the KNUST School of Business and the main speaker was Professor Douglas Boateng, Chairman of CIPS Africa Advisory Board.
Professor Douglas Boateng stated that government and the private sector had roles to play in negotiations and that lack of negotiation skills had made us give away our resources cheaply to foreigners. He explained that we confused bargaining with negotiations and that had led to the many judgment debts in the courts these days. He observed that when negotiating an agreement there was the need to know all the specificities before signing a contract.
He observed that to be able to do this Africa needs to unite to get the best for our resources through negotiations. He quoted Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s statement “Africa must unite” to buttress his point on unity.
Prof Boateng went on to explain that foreigners come to Ghana to buy our raw materials and manufacture products like wigs, tooth picks, salt and then sell them to us. Since we get them so cheaply we refuse to negotiate with manufacturers to establish these businesses here for economic development. He advised that we must develop competence in negotiation skills and project for long-term rather than short-term goals.
Stella Addo, president of CIPS Ghana, in her address noted that members of CIPS must work hard for procurement to take its rightful place in our economy by marching on from just presenting standards, tendering documents and pushing paper for approval in various institutions and organizations. To achieve this, she advised members of CIPS to understand and speak the language of the stakeholders by driving value in the entire supply chain.
Mrs Addo urged the gathering to push the boundaries and add more value to their organisations and institutions. She added that members should also be seen as solutions for societal issues like perceived corruption in procurement, the environment and green issues and offer help in setting up clear terms for government and private contracts to reduce the numerous judgment debts.
The president of CIPS, Ghana, appealed to professional bodies and tertiary institutions to improve their courses in supply chain management to provide solutions to Ghana’s socio-economic problems. The Ghana branch of CIPS, according to the president, was ready to extend ideas, expertise and professional advice to public institutions to achieve value for money.
Dr. Jonathan Annan, senior lecturer, KNUST, also addressed the gathering and observed that content management was a serious strategic tool for the survival of every business entity. He stated that business negotiations and content management did not depend on the government alone but also on the private sector. He added that effective and serious negotiations lead to solid contracts and effective use of resources. It was his view that the 2015 CIPS theme was apt for the country and advised members to take the lectures seriously for the development of the country. The sponsors of the programme were Docutech, MID-ATLANTIC, MON-TRAN and Global Media Alliance.