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Building Markets Helps UN Set the Stage to Buy More Locally in Liberia

On Tuesday,  21 February, PDT co-hosted a Vendor Registration event with the procurement office of the United Nation’s Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). PDT Liberia’s staff was able to contact and invite more than 30 local enterprises to attend. These were mainly construction companies, building material suppliers, caterers & event planners, transportation and logistics groups, Computer & IT service providers, and auto spare parts dealers. Some of the entrepreneurs in attendance had previous contract experience with the UN Mission. Many others had never attempted to bid on a UN tender.

The United Nations is currently conducting a worldwide registration drive for its online Global Marketplace vendor registration system. This system provides suppliers located anywhere in the world with opportunities to bid on local, regional, and international UN tenders. Additionally, UNMIL is seeking to increase its base of prospective suppliers by building up its vendor roster.

The business owners of Liberia were able to interact with both the local UNMIL Chief of Procurement and the Global Procurement Registrar for the United Nations. They were walked through the online vendor registration process for both the UN Global marketplace and the local UNMIL registration, which is a paper form. Presentations made by UNMIL representatives and PDT’s Liberia Country Director Matt Jones emphasized the requirements for registry, many of which, including business history, ownership, and previous contracting; echo PDT’s own Verification Questionnaire.

PDT Country Director Matt Jones talks to business owners in Liberia about UNMIL procurement policies.

Although the UN Mission is currently entering in a draw-down phase, the mission will have a sizeable presence in Liberia for many years to come, and therefore will remain one of the largest single purchasers in the Liberian market. UNMIL’s Chief Procurement Officer, Josie Villamin, is thoroughly committed to maximizing local purchasing whenever possible, and recognizes that the mission’s large budget and diverse needs can have a positive impact on Liberia’s economic development.







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