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Cambridge University Press 2013 xvii plus 429 pages

Price: $124.00 USD

1 Introduction

Geo Quinot and Sue Arrowsmith are the editors of the book Public Procurement Regulation in Africa. Geo Quinot is Professor of Law in the Department of Public Law at Stellenbosch University, where he is also Director of African Public Procurement Regulation Research Unit and Co-Director of Socio-Economic Rights and Administrative Justice Research Project.

Sue Arrowsmith is Achilles Professor of Public Procurement Law and Policy at the University of Nottingham, where she is also Director of the Public Procurement research Group and of the postgraduate Executive Programme in the Procurement Law and Policy.

The book deals with Public Procurement as a field of law. Public Procurement deals with the whole process through which governments deal with the acquiring of goods and services from the time of identifying a need for goods and services to the conclusion of a contract with a supplier.

The purpose of the book is to provide foundations for future research on African procurement regulation, to form the basis for specific research and teaching programmes and finally to provide a platform for African scholars to develop research partnerships and gain access to broader international scholarships.

The countries that were selected for discussion in this book are, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The other authors of the book are all experts in the field of Public Procurement from the respective countries.

2 Strengths

The book has a very practical and well thought-out systematic approach to explaining the dynamics of procurement in Africa. It is divided into two parts. Part one deals with the regulatory frameworks on public procurement from each country that was selected. The regulatory frameworks of all the countries are discussed under the following headings: Introduction to the public procurement system; coverage of the public procurement rules; public procurement procedures; and concluding remarks. This structured comparison of public procurement in the different countries is particularly effective when analysing the differences and similarities in procurement systems.

Part two deals with specific themes relating to procurement regulation in Africa i.e. the donor’s influence on developing countries’ procurement systems, rules and markets; procurement methods in the public procurement systems of Africa; a comparative perspective on supplier remedies in African public procurement systems; a perspective on corruption and public procurement; and the promotion of social policy through public procurement. Most objectives of public procurement are shared by most countries and the aspects discussed in the second part of the book gives a comparison on most of these objectives.

3 Weaknesses

The weakness relates more to this field of law than a weakness identified regarding the book and that is the fact that public procurement regulation in Africa is not widely researched and there are limited resources available in the field of procurement regulation. This fact makes a comparison with other literature difficult.

4 Conclusion

The book is informative and provides the reader with enough information to understand the objectives of public procurement. From other research done on this topic, it is clear that the editors and the other authors are very knowledgeable in their field of study and although it is too soon to say whether they will reach their objective to lay a foundation for future research on the topic of public procurement, it is safe to say that this is an excellent start.

This book is highly recommended to scholars in the field of procurement law.

U Botha

Member of the Institute of Directors

Advocate of the High Court