Educational Materials Production & Distribution Enterprise

The state-owned specialty printing company, the Educational Materials Production & Distribution Enterprise, secured a 14 million Br project from the Central Statistical Agency to print training and promotional materials for the upcoming national census.

The Agency awarded the contract as part of its 3.5 billion Br total budget for completing the census. The census is scheduled to be carried out starting from April 7, 2019, and running for three weeks.

The printed material will be prepared in five regional languages - Amharic, Oromo, Tigrigna, Somali and Afar – and will include brochures, posters, calendars, stickers, booklets and questionnaires.

"Considering the urgency of the issue, we made a direct procurement to save time," said Taye Retta, director of printing services at the Agency, which has conducted three censuses between 1984 and 2007.

In the interim, the population has grown exponentially by 25.5pc and 37.9pc in the second and third census years, respectively. With the upcoming census, the Agency projected that the population growth would rise to 94.3 million.

Setegne Gelan, communications director of Public Procurement & Property Administration Agency, confirmed that the Agency had received a waiver to make a direct procurement.

"Even though the Agency was supposed to plan and make the procurement early, we gave them an exception for the direct procurement considering the urgency of the work," said Setegne.

Before awarding the project to the Enterprise, the Agency approached Berhanena Selam Printing Enterprise, another state-owned printer, which offered a bid twice as high as the winning company, according to Taye.

"In the process, we also considered quality and delivery time as criteria to select a company," said Taye.

After two months, the Enterprise, which operates under the Ministry of Education and prints educational material and textbooks for all levels of teaching institutions, secured the deal with a delivery time of one month.

Habtamu Berhanu (PhD), a lecturer at Addis Abeba University's College of Business & Economics for more than a decade and a half, agrees with the decision made by the Agency to block loopholes from lengthy procurement procedures.

"The speedy procurement process helps the Agency to perform under the scheduled time frame and control costs," Habtamu said.

To be conducted in two months, the census will be carried out by 182,000 people, of which 145,000 will be poll takers, 35,000 controllers and 2,000 employees recruited from various offices. The trainers, poll takers and controllers have been drafted from among teachers, agricultural and health extension workers and the census commission.

Last year, the Agency procured 180,000 tablets and 126,000 power banks through the Public Procurement & Disposal Service at a cost of 663 million Br. The gadgets were procured to digitise the process.

Currently, the Agency is uploading census maps, questionnaires and data analysis applications on the tablets preparing for the census, according to Taye.

The Enterprise prints master's level examinations papers for higher education institutes using its secure printing machines.

“Universities and regional educational bureaus are our main customers,” said Girma Regassa, marketing director at the Enterprise.

PUBLISHED ON Feb 16,2019 [ VOL 19 , NO 981]

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