UK-Africa Procurement Project



The project, which commenced in 2009 and was completed in 2012, was funded under the British Academy’s UK-Africa Academic Partnerships and conducted in collaboration primarily between the Universities of Stellenbosch and the Public Procurement Research Group (PPRG) at the University of Nottingham in the UK.

Prof Sue Arrowsmith, director of the PPRG, was the lead UK partner and project leader and Prof Geo Quinot of Stellenbosch University the lead African partner. The other primary researchers were Prof Phoebe Bolton of Stellenbosch University and Dr Annamaria La Chimia and Dr Sope Williams-Elegbe of the PPRG.

The aim of the project was to examine the current state of procurement regulation in Southern Africa in key areas, resulting inter alia in a book of essays at the end of three years. It also had important long term objectives. Public procurement regulation has recently developed as a distinct field of legal academic study in other continents, where there are thriving programmes in Law Schools. The European Commission has funded a programme through its Asia Link fund that was specifically aimed at developing sustainable university-level capacity in this subject in Europe and Asia, through a 5-member consortium led by Nottingham (funding: 450 000 euros for 2008-10). However, there are no comparable programmes in African Law Schools. This hampers effective legal development in Africa and also limits the ability of universities outside Africa to incorporate African perspectives into their work, including in research and policy making activities that have a potential impact on Africa (such as the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Government Procurement and the UNCITRAL Model Law on procurement).

The project aimed at assisting African domestic development and informing legal research and policy making, both through its short term outputs and long term impact. In the latter respect the research project and its supporting activities aimed to:

  • provide foundations for future research by the partnership and others;
  • provide the foundation for a specific research and teaching programme to secure long term academic capacity in Africa; and
  • develop the human resources and institutional capacity for the African partner universities to provide leadership in this field in Africa.


One of the major outcomes of the project was die publication Public Procurement Regulation in Africa published by Cambridge University Press in 2013 and edited by Geo Quinot and Sue Arrowsmith. The book consists of chapters setting out the public procurement regulatory system in 9 African systems, viz. Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe, as well as a number of chapters dealing with particular themes across African systems. More information on the book is available under the resources tab.

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