On the 13th August 2019, the first pan African Institute for supply chain management was launched at the Unisa Kgorong Function hall, Muckleneuk Campus, Pretoria. Over 200 delegates who are SCM experts in the continent attended the launch.
Among the delegates in attendance were Prof Thomas Mogale, Executive Dean, College of Economic and Management Sciences (CEMS), Unisa; Prof Thenjiwe Meyiwa, Vice Principal: Research, Innovation, Postgraduate & Commercialisation, Unisa; Mr Kimi Makwetu, The Auditor General of South Africa; Mr John Chitambala, Senior Procurement Specialist, World Bank; and Prof Douglas Boateng, Chief Executive Officer, PanAvest International & Partners among others.
Prof Marcus Ambe, the President of AISCR at the opening presented the value proposition of the research institute. He alluded that “Effective supply chain practices and strategies are important to ensure successful developments and transformation in Africa”, he argues. He believes it requires a specific focus on and elevation of the strategic role of supply chain management (SCM) in Africa. The AISCR will serve as a knowledge hub for SCM and provide innovative solutions that are tailored to assist leading organisations and government institutions. The institute will foster collaboration and partnerships with a network of professional experts, organisations and academic institutions to drive supply chain excellence.
The vision of AISCR he asserted “is to conduct innovative research, advances and disseminates supply chain research solutions to promote continent-wide sustainable development and inclusive growth”. AISCR will establish a network with regional offices in South Africa and the rest of Africa where academic institutions will work with the public and private sector. We want to ensure master’s and doctoral students in SCM are funded to complete complete their studies, he noted. He noted that although SCM is strategic to the bottom line in organisations as well as service delivery improvements in the public sector, it remains under-researched in Africa. The strategic importance of SCM is underestimated and is seldom accorded the professional education accreditation status it deserves, he says.
The importance of taking steps to counter unlawful expenditure on all levels of government was the topic of the keynote address at the launch by Mr Kiwi Makwetu, the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA). He referred to the new Public Audit Amendment Bill and the power it gives the AGSA from 1 April 2019 to refer adverse findings to investigative bodies. It also allows for the recovery of funds from accounting officers lost due to non-adherence to the Public Finance Management Act as well as remedial action for the failure to implement.
The launch was also broadcasted live on the Unisa Facebook page for those that could not make it to the event. Overall, the launch was a great success and received great publicity from various media houses.