Most Kenyans are unaware of the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) program of the national government. AGPO is a scheme that was launched by the ruling Jubilee government in 2013 to provide the youth, women and persons living with disabilities a preference to have their firms do business with the national government. Essentially, it is a business to business partnership with the government of Kenya provided that such firms meet certain criteria set forth by the Kenyan Government.
Any business owner in Kenya will tell you that the most lucrative entity to do business with is the Kenyan Government. You ask how so? Well consider this: David Murathe (the Jubilee Party Vice-chairman) actually made at least Ksh. 2 billion by doing business with the Kenyan Government by supplying N95 masks and PPE Kits after the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in the country.
Of course we know that Mr. Murathe charged the government twice the per piece price of the masks and PPE full kits he supplied the government via KEMSA (do you still remember the Kemsa corruption scandal? you can read it here). For example, if a full kit was being sold at Alibaba.com for Ksh. 4,500, the deep state dude charged the government a whopping Ksh. 9,000 per a PPE full kit. So he pocketed the other Ksh. 4,500 per kit. Now let us do the math here. If Mr. Murathe made Ksh. 4,500 per kit and the government through KEMSA gave him a tender to supply 500,000 pieces of PPE full kits, then Mr. Murathe took home a whopping Ksh. 2.25 billion from the PPE kits alone!
We have not factored in the revenue David Murathe will generate from the N95 masks yet! 2 billion shillings for a 70 year old David Murathe is a freaking huge sums of money to have in Kenya.
And the icing on the cake is that the government will not go after Mr. Murathe to cough out the money he defrauded the government as he is exempted by the Emergencies Act that relaxes the vetting process rules when awarding government tenders during emergencies such as a pandemic. Of course we are not encouraging you to participate in any forms of corruption (you risk being jailed for 60 years if you do). We are just advising you to take opportunity of various government programs such as the AGPO.
Anyway, back to the subject matter of today’s discussions. We were taking about the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO). The mandate of AGPO is an affirmative action program meant to bridge the gap and remove barriers faced by disadvantaged groups (women, youth and persons with disabilities) in their quest to participate in access to government procurement opportunities. The AGPO program is enshrined in the Kenyan Constitution 2010.
Specifically, this is found on Article 227 of the Kenyan constitution on the fair equitable, transparent and cost-effective public procurement of goods and services, the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 Article 55 on affirmative action and the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015.
But most people will ask, what are the criteria needed in order to qualify for the AGPO program. Well, one needs to meet the following criteria in order for their applications to get approved for the AGPO participation: The firm or enterprise must be owned by either the youth, women or persons living with disabilities and must strive to serve the said groups one way or the other.
AGPO Qualification Requirements
Apart from meeting the above criteria, firms that intend to do business with the government via the AGPO program need to meet the following legal requirements:
They must provide original scans of:
- National Identity Card or Kenyan Passport
- Registration Document from the National Council for persons with disabilities (does not apply if you are applying via the Youth or Women category)
- Business Registration Certificate/ Certificate of Incorporation
- CR12 for Limited Company from Registrar of of Companies (system generated soft copy)
- Partnership Deed for partnership business
- Tax Compliance Certificate
- National Construction Authority Letter/ Certificate for construction category
It is worth to note that all procurement opportunities (for example KeNHA, etc) must allocate at least 30% of its procurement spending for the purposes of procuring goods, works and services from micro and small enterprises owned by the youth, women and persons with disabilities.
The procurement entity must do this through its budgets, procurement plans, tender notices, contract awards and submit quarterly reports to the AGPO
In order for your small business to benefit from AGPO, the firm must be a registered entity with the relevant government body. For example if your small business intends to build houses for the Kenyan Government’s Affordable Housing part of the Big Four Agenda, then your small business must be registered and in good standing with the National Construction Authority.
Also, the owners or the shareholders of the business must belong to one or more of the preferred groups: either the youth, be women and or should be people living with disabilities. The leadership and management team must all comprise of 100% women, youth or persons living with disabilities. If anybody in the leadership team does not belong in one of these group of people, then your company will be disqualified from participating in the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO).
How to Join Access To Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO)
- Start by registering your business with the Attorney General’s office. Your business must be one of the following classifications: A sole proprietorship business, a partnership business or a limited liability business corporation. You can also register your business online via the eCitizen government portal. Actually, since 2018, the government of Kenya recommends registering businesses on the eCitizen platform and if you have any difficulties, then one can consult your nearest Huduma Center for more information.
- If business is a partnership one, you must get a partnership deed from a lawyer, if it is a limited company, obtain a CR12 form from the registrar of Companies ( it should be a system generated soft copy).
- Acquire a KRA PIN and a tax compliance/ tax exemption certificate from the Kenya Revenue Authority website. If you have no access to the internet, you can visit their offices or get advise from your Huduma Center for how to obtain the KRA PIN or the tax compliance certificate
- Obtain all the required certifications from professional bodies and authorities such as the National Construction Authority, Insurance Regulatory Authority, ICPAK, LSK, National Council for Persons with Disabilities, NEMA, ERC and all other authorized bodies.
- Open a bank account for your business and acquire a bank reference number from the bank.
- Visit the AGPO website by clicking here and register your business with them online or visit your nearest Huduma Center for assistance.
Things to Take Into Consideration
In order to ensure that your business meets the compliance requirements for participation in the AGPO program, take the following factors into considerations: The program is exclusively for the youth, women and persons living with disabilities oriented businesses.
For the purpose of administering the AGPO programs, the Kenyans Government defines a Youth as young people between the ages of 18 years and 35 years old. A youth-owned enterprise refers to a legally registered business in the form of a sole-proprietorship, partnership or limited company. For both the partnership and the limited company, the ownership in form of capital invested or shares owned should be at least 70% for the youth.
So even if your are a parent with several children but our National ID card or Passport shows that your are under the age of 35 years old, the Kenyan government considers you as a youth and hence any business you own is eligible to participate in the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) program.
Since the government stipulates that all members of the leadership team must be either a youth, women or persons with disabilities, then it follows that as the owner of the company, you have to relinquish the control of your company or your management position upon reaching the age of 36 years old if you are an able-bodied (without disabilities) man. Essentially, you must resign from your leadership role and become a regular employee of the company when you turn 36.
How to Register Your Company as a Youth Serving Organization
- Provide the details of at least 3 top officials of your company. At least 70% of these officials must be between the ages of 18 to 35 years old (youth)
- Provide three (3) Copies of the Constitution of the Organization signed by the executive on all pages and all board members on the execution page.
- Provide Contact details of the proposed organization showing location and postal address of the company. This is usually the head office of the company if it has multiple locations
- Provide a list of all board members of the company
- Provide Information stating the organization’s contact person. This is usually the telephone number, mailing address and or email address of the leader of the company for example Managing Director or CEO of the company
- Provide at least 3 Colored passport size photographs of the proposed top officials of the company
- Provide Copies of IDs or Passports of the proposed officials and Board members of the company
- Provide KRA PINs of all officials and board members of the company
- You must also provide Minutes authorizing registration with National Youth Council Showing the officials mandated to act on behalf of the youth serving organization and information on signatory of account.
- Provide a proposed One Year (12 months) budget of your organizations you intend to register with the Youth Council
- Provide a fully filled company registration form
- Finally, provide A copy of registration certificate if already registered by a state agency or approval from your local sub county youth officer
For the other preferred groups, the Kenyan Government defines a woman as a person of the female gender who has attained the age of eighteen years and includes a company, association or body of persons, corporate or unincorporated in which at least seventy percent of the shareholders, members or persons and a majority of its directors are of the female gender.
Because gender is a societal ascription of roles and responsibility, then it means that females who identify as men are ineligible from participating in the AGPO program. Males members of the society who identify as females on their National ID card or Kenyan passports are eligible to participate in the AGPO program since their gender is classified as women.
This is so because the Kenyan Government does not use the biological classification of human sex but rather, uses the societal “gender” roles in its criteria of determining who is a man and woman respectively.
Lastly, the Kenyan Government defines persons living with disabilities by borrowing from the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2003 which defines a disability as a physical, sensory, mental or other impairment, including any visual, hearing, learning or physical incapability, which impacts adversely on social, economic or environmental participation. All persons with disabilities seeking preference in Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) must provide their National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) registration number.