In its efforts to promote active women participation in open contracting and procurement, the Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) organized a two days follow up research results workshop with women entrepreneurs in the formal and informal sector on 10th and 11th October, 2019. The workshop whose aim was to gather experience of women in open contracting further weighed to appreciate how voices are shaped in the national action plans in a vow to promote equal best practices in open contracting. In total the workshop joined together 15 women entrepreneurs from different business cycles. Throughout the workshops challenges and recommendations were drawn to map the way forward on how best to achieve full participation of women in open contracting.
Speaking at the closure of the workshop, Programmes Manager for CHRR, Michael Kaiyatsa pointed out that women were facing challenges in accessing government contracts due to resource challenge, self-willingness and lack information. He then called for more collective action in making sure that women have access to contracts and that this would be greatly achieved with the blessings of government commitment and willingness. He then bemoaned the delays to operationalize access to information law as a contributing factor to why women fail to get hold of contracts.
On her part, Alice Manyachembe, one of the beneficiaries of the workshop expressed excitement on the fact that her expectations were met and that she was now enlightened about open contracting. She then vowed to use the knowledge gained to advance her business. The workshop is one of the advocacy strategies under the open contracting project which seeks to promote women participation in open contracting and public procurement.
Open contracting and public procurement continue to be one of the many issues that need transparency and accountability, however with the absence of the operationalization of the access to information law, most information remain in accessible which creates gaps in accessing contracts.
Open Contracting project is an initiative that is funded by the African Freedom Information Center (AFIC)