Public Procurement Regulation in Africa: Development in Uncertain Times

edited by Geo Quinot & Sope Williams-Elegbe

9780639010601_1 Public Procurement Regulation 2020Public procurement law is one of the fastest growing areas of law globally. In recent years, the role of public procurement in supporting development has been highlighted, becoming a major theme of research, and included in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Yet, despite it being estimated that on average about 15% of the GDP of Sub-Saharan African countries is expended on public procurement, there is limited research on public procurement and the role of law in Africa.  APLU’s 2020 publication released by LexisNexis, Public Procurement Regulation in Africa: Development in Uncertain Times aims to address this gap in the literature.

Transcending academic legalese and philosophical discourse, the title puts forward ideas on arresting procurement maladies and will also be useful for administrative, law enforcement functionaries, consultants, academics, and students interested in expanding their procurement knowledge while contributing meaningfully to African procurement reform.

In her foreword, Professor Thuli Madonsela, former Public Protector of South Africa, says, “Procurement has become the Achilles’ heel of state affairs in South Africa and other parts of the African continent. Yet properly handled, procurement can contribute meaningfully towards good governance and state delivery on sustainable development goals and the advancement of social justice and related human rights.”

Editors Geo Quinot and Sope William-Elegbe, both professors of law at Stellenbosch University and co-directors of the African Procurement Law Unit, bring together a number of essays from academics and professionals working in public procurement law, focusing on public procurement regulation in Africa aimed at development in uncertain times.

Working on a social compact for economic recovery, growth and transformation needs to be the focus for both the private and public sector, with compliant procurement playing a pivotal role in this process. Understanding and identifying the many fault lines that exist to allow for procurement irregularities, will serve to red flag fraud and corruption and increase efficiencies and compliance with the law. As the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown, there has never been a more urgent time to engage with these issues.


To order the book, click on this link.

Prof La Chimia appointed Director of the Nottingham Public Procurement Research Group

APLU is proud that Professor Annamaria la Chimia, professor in law and development at the School of Law at the University of Nottingham and a research fellow of APLU has been appointed as the new director of the Public Procurement Research Group (PPRG) at the University of Nottingham from 1 August 2020.

La Chimia visa photoProf La Chimia succeeds Prof Sue Arrowsmith QC (Hon), who established the PPRG more than 20 years ago in Nottingham. The PPRG is a global leader in research and teaching on public procurement regulation and APLU has enjoyed a close working relationship with the PPRG since its inception in 2012. This relationship was further formalised when Prof La Chimia was appointed as a research fellow with APLU under the auspices of the Department of Mercantile Law at Stellenbosch University in 2019.

Prof La Chimia read Law at the University of Rome La Sapienza, completed an LLM in International Economic Law (2002) and a PhD (2006) at the School of Law at University of Nottingham. She joined the School of Law at the University of Nottingham as a lecturer in 2006, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014 and to Professor in 2019. She heads the Humanitarian and Development Procurement Unit and is co-leader of the Procurement and Human Rights Unit of the PPRG. She is a founding member of the European Association on Public Private Partnership (EAPPP), a member of the Transatlantic Food Assistance Dialogue (TAFAD) and until 2018 was member of the steering Committee of the Learning Lab on Procurement and Human Rights. Prof La Chimia is currently Co-Investigator for the Rising from the Depths project, a two-million pound project funded by the UK Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) through the Arts and Humanities Research Council Network Plus scheme, which focuses on utilising marine cultural heritage in East Africa to help develop sustainable social, economic and cultural benefits.


Updated global bibliography on public procurement law research published

An updated version of the Bibliography on Public Procurement Law and Regulation has been published by the Public Procurement Research Group (PPRG) at the University of Nottingham under the supervision of Prof Sue Arrowsmith QC (Hon). The update covers materials up to the end of 2018.

APLU has been a collaborator on the development and maintenance of the bibliography from its outset in 2011 and again worked closely with the PPRG to update the African section of the 2019 bibliography.

The bibliography aims to list in a comprehensive manner reading in the English language on public procurement law and regulation. As such, it provides an invaluable tool for the study of public procurement law and provides an excellent starting point for any research project in this field of law. The bibliography is freely available at the link above.

Williams-Elegbe serves as Vice-Chair (Africa) of IBA subcommittee

Sope at Blockchain Africa 2020 2APLU’s Sope Williams-Elegbe is the Vice-Chair (Africa) of the Debarment and Exclusions Subcommittee (the Subcommittee) of the International Bar Association’s Anti- Corruption Committee.

In cooperation with the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank Group, and Le Bureau de l’inspecteur general de la Ville de Montréal, the Subcommittee is conducting research into national suspension & debarment systems. To launch the survey, the Subcommittee on 18 March 2020 presented a webinar titled “The Global Exclusion Survey: A Look at Suspension and Debarment Systems from around the World.” Sope was one of the panellists on the webinar, a recording of which can be found here.

The survey can be accessed here.

Workshop on South African draft Public Procurement Bill 2020

Following the publication of a draft Public Procurement Bill in South Africa in February 2020, APLU in collaboration with law firm ENSAfrica and the Public Procurement Special Interest Group of the Administrative Justice Association of South Africa hosted a workshop in Johannesburg and Cape Town on 9 March 2020 to engage with the draft Bill.


The panel of presenters discussed the following issues:

Overview of the Bill, with special emphasis on the role of the Regulator – Geo Quinot

What does the Bill Not Deal With? – Pippa Reyburn

The Bidding Process – Peter Volmink

Dispute Resolution – Walter Bhengu

Peter Volmink, Pippa Reyburn, Geo Quinot & Walter Bhengu

Peter Volmink, Pippa Reyburn, Geo Quinot & Walter Bhengu

Draft South African Public Procurement Bill published for comment

The long-awaited South African draft Public Procurement Bill was published for public comment on 19 February 2020. One of the main aims of the draft statute is “to create a single regulatory framework for public procurement and eliminate fragmentation in laws which deal with procurement in the public sector”.  The draft Bill proposes a range of reforms to the South African procurement system, including

  • the creation of a Public Procurement Regulator,
  • repealing the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act and with it the entire current approach to preferential procurement, replacing it with a new, broad preferential procurement framework to be determined by the Minister of Finance by way of regulation,
  • introducing a new remedies regime that includes reconsideration at entity level, provincial level and national level, with a standstill period, and a new Public Procurement Tribunal, which will have to be approached for review of procurement decisions prior to instituting judicial review applications
  • explicitly regulating infrastructure procurement and PPPs, and
  • replacing the current local government procurement rules (the Bill proposes repealing the entire chapter 11 of the MFMA).

Comments are open until 30 June 2020.

Details on the draft Bill can be found on the website of National Treasury.

Fourth International Conference on Public Procurement Law Africa 2021




The African Procurement Law Unit (APLU), Faculty of Law, Stellenbosch University, is pleased to announce the Call for Abstracts for the fourth International Conference on Public Procurement Law Africa. The Conference will be held on 11 to 12 August 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Conference Theme

The Conference theme is Public Procurement and the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa: A Decade of OpportunityThe theme will address a range of critically important legal and policy issues relating to sustainable development and sustainable public procurement in Africa, in the ten year deadline to achieving the SDGs by 2030. The conference will examine the role of public procurement to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals; using public procurement to address the climate emergency in Africa, the integration between procurement and human rights issues such as modern slavery, as well as issues that present an obstacle to sustainable development such as corruption, weak institutional capacity and poor governance in the procurement context – all from a regulatory perspective. The conference will also consider the role that innovation and technology such as blockchain and AI can play in sustainable public procurement and regulatory issues pertaining to such innovation. Plenary speakers include some of the leading thinkers in public procurement in Africa and internationally, and the conference will feature numerous papers, and workshops presentations. We are inviting abstracts for paper presentations addressing the broad conference theme in any of these particular areas:

1 Using public procurement to address the climate emergency
2 Public procurement and human rights
3 Sustainable development and public procurement in Africa
4 Corruption, fraud and public procurement in Africa
5 Sustainable public procurement in Africa
6 Technology and sustainable public procurement
7  Innovation and public procurement in Africa
8 Health procurement and sustainable development
9 Emergency procurement and pandemics

Note that abstract ideas that extend beyond these thematic areas but which are within the broad conference focus will also be considered.

Submit a Conference Abstract

Abstracts for the conference should be emailed to and should be no more than 300 words. The deadline for submission is 30th April 2021. Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by 30th May 2021. Full conference papers (of no more than 10,000 words, including footnotes) and presentation slides (no more than 12 slides) should be submitted by 1st August 2021, for distribution to delegates. Please note that late abstract submissions will not be considered.

The best papers will either be published in an edited book collection (to be confirmed), or in the African Public Procurement Law Journal.

Important dates

Event Date
Abstract submission opens 10th December 2019
Abstract submission deadline 30th April 2021
Acceptance Notification 30th May 2021
Full paper submission deadline   1st August 2021

Conference Details

To learn more about the conference, including speakers, session formats, venue, registration please visit

Inquiries should be directed to the organizers at

Please note that the conference is an academic conference and we are unable to fund speaker’s participation.

 Prof Geo Quinot & Prof Sope Williams-Elegbe

Conference directors