The journalists in Kenya have vowed to expose all cases of misery, citizens face during their attempt to participate in the Access Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO).
This followed a media round table discussion organized by Africa Freedom of Information Centre in collaboration with AFIC partners in Kenya, The Institute of Social Accountability (TISA) that discussed report findings from a recent report by AFIC on Women-led businesses and Public procurement.
The discussion was held at Royal Tullip Hotel in Kilimani, Nairobi on the 22 nd June 2023.
Journalists learnt that the government programme meant to support the vulnerable in benefiting from public procurement has turned out to be a nightmare to some due to cases of pending bills, corruption, sexual advances among others.
In his remarks, Gilbert Sendugwa, the Executive Director of Africa Freedom of Information Centre informed the journalists that the same study was conducted in 4 other countries including Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia.
He urged the journalists to report these cases of abuse as a way to increase transparency since the media are partners in building the 5 nations.
On his part, Eric Kinaga the Programme Manager of TISA, expressed his gratitude to the media team for taking the issues of women in procurement serious.
Pointing to the issue of beneficial ownership, Eric noted that it is important to note that the
registered beneficiaries of AGPO are not usually the owners thus failing the women in away.
The journalists who included the editors, reporters, TV show anchors, content creators and bloggers in and around Nairobi said it was time for them to report stories with a human face.
They expressed excitement that the report was giving them lead stories which need to be followed up to get more facts and use the same to publish more stories. They were thankful to TISA for inviting them to such and called for more of the same round tables specifically for the media.
The media round table discussion in Nairobi was the third in a series organized by AFIC following one in Ethiopia and in Tanzania.
The purpose of these events is to bring on board the media while increasing up take for research by the media as one way of influencing the various stakeholders through media spaces.
Two more media round table discussions are planned for Rwanda and Uganda as the advocacy for
implementation of the study recommendations is advanced by all country partners.
The study findings have been welcomed by the media in Kenya like elsewhere and journalists have taken on the challenge to push for publication of these findings into the public domain for discussion but also influence actions of the policy actors.