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The referencing of actors operating in Africa

Like the Trade Registers and suppliers references by Western companies, this is a tool intended to help African decision-makers to identify contracting counter-parties, African or foreign, in order to secure their commitments as much as possible. This tool is essential  when “good practices” is a major objective for African society. ODEPA is the actor of choice to advocate and promote its creation and its implementation with each African country. Ultimately, in addition to convergence towards a “good practice”, the general use of this tool will subconsciously boost trade between African countries.

Referencing amounts to creating a knowledge base in which all suppliers / service providers, including Africans, working on the African continent will be registered. In this knowledge base you will find

The identity of the actor: name of the legal person, its Commercial Register identifiers, the identity of its directors, contact details (telephones, fax, telex, site address, IT site, etc.), year of its creation, the list of its subsidiaries

Its social information - owners, statutes, extract from the Commercial Register of the country of origin

Its financial data - participants in the capital, latest balance sheets and profit and loss accounts

Its offer - its products and services

Its main achievements, continent by continent

Its preferred method of payment for commitments received as given

The desired type of guarantee of the commitments received as given

List of reported incidents, commitment by undertaking

The scores that the tool will affect it in terms of: compliance with commitments in general, respect for budgets, respect for deadlines, quality of the products or services provided, financial soundness

A special value of one of the scores will mean that the actor is blacklisted and strongly advised against entering into business with that person. The list of African decision-makers who go beyond this recommendation will be made public. Moreover, the actor will be officially informed. Unreferenced actors will also join the blacklist. This action is likely to discourage corruption and drastically lower it over time.

Several channels are involved in building and enriching the knowledge base

Suppliers who request to be referenced will be able to use the tool to register and attach their documents (in PDF format for example). Their requests, previously recorded by security on an annex server, will be analyzed by the audit team

Once validated, the requests will integrate the main system and will be enriched by the assessments of the auditors.

Scores will be automatically assigned by the system according to an algorithm designed beforehand during the production of the tool

Incidents reported by any country will be added to the file concerned, inducing an automatic recalculation of the scores be automatically assigned by the system according to an algorithm designed beforehand during the production of the tool

The referencing could be paid for and thus constitute a source of funding for the creation of the tool and its update. The secure consultation of this knowledge base will be made available to African decision-makers concerned while securing their contractual commitments. Decision makers’ could be granted access to service via by paid membership, which is another source of funding for the tool.

It is obviously a project and to make it a success, it must be managed as such. To avoid any pitfall (quality, cost, deadlines), it must be given a clear objective, the necessary resources, including human resources and a budget. To do this, chronologically :


Want and advocate the creation of the project

It is the mission of ODEPA to want the generalization of referencing to all African countries with a centralized management endowed with resources in total coherence with the objective pursued:

  • A regulatory framework for the management of referencing common to all African countries,
  • A technical team and dedicated IT equipment,
  • A dedicated team of auditors,
  • Secure premises with all the equipment required for proper operation.

ODEPA will therefore have to organize the communication necessary to advocate the realization of this referencing project with all African states. This communication should be based on a brief description of the project with a realistic approach to its budget and deadlines, its operating budget, its financing method and the benefits it is supposed to bring to Africa. especially for its image.


Decide the realization of the project

Properly promoted by ODEPA, African countries will decide on the creation of the project at a summit where all the heads of state


Define the project

In this step, it is necessary to define the project. After having described its generalities (General Functional Descriptions: DFG), it is necessary to finely specify its details (Detailed Functional Descriptions: DFT), once the DFG has been validated by the project committee which will be created to pilot it. The DFG will make it possible to make a first projection of time and costs of the realization of the project; the DFT will make it possible to refine them and to appreciate more finely the resources, in particular human, to allocate to him.


Carry out the project

Allocate the necessary resources and start the creation of the referencing tool.


Put the project into operation and training in its use

Once the technical realization of the tool is completed and validated. It is necessary to organize its use which imperatively requires the training of targeted users.


Promote the general use of the tool used

Through strict monitoring, promote the widespread use of the referencing tool put into operation.


Regularly audit the project (technical tool and organization) to bring it all the required or desired improvements

Maintain a register which lists all the improvements and enrichments desired. Decide within the framework of the project committee of their realization then have them carried out by the technical team to produce new versions that are more and more efficient functionally and technically.