Dear Jeffrey Cochrane,
We were pleased to read about your survey. We have not known how to best
make ourselves known to USAID.
World Computer Exchange is a new educational organization assisting over 80
non-governmental organizations in 31 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin
America to provide youth in schools and learning centers with access to the
Internet. We guide our NGO partners in developing careful plans to prepare
for the wiring, installation, connection, use, and maintenance required for
this. Based on these plans, the Exchange sends monthly shipping containers
of 400 computers and monitors. The UN pays the shipping costs for plans that
meet their criteria for projects in India, Bangladesh, Benin, Cameroon, and
Vietnam. The computers are surplus, working, Internet-accessible units
donated by large companies.
We help our hundreds of participating schools form on-line e-pal
partnerships between tech-experienced schools and those new to technology
and develop and share websites that portray their own history and culture.
Participating students gain international friends, share their Internet
skills with their e-pals, practice different languages, and learn about
different cultures. The Exchange also arranges for teams of technology-savvy
high school and college students who visit youth at some of the
participating schools and learning centres to help them learn about
technology, the Internet, and web design. Through these virtual social
studies exchanges students receive a foundation of knowledge and
understanding for a future in international commerce and affairs.
For 2000, the containers of about 400 computers and monitors cost $20,000 to
get donated and delivered to partner organisations that have plans to
implement and sustain improved Internet access for poor youth. We currently
work in collaboration with ten allied organisations and would welcome
supporting the work of USAID initiatives. Our monthly shipping schedule for
containers of 400 is firm for the next year and almost firm for 18 months.
With additional financial support, we would be able to increase the
frequency of this flow of computers.
To date, we have been contacted by potential NGO partners in the following
18 countries: Benin (agreement signed and plan completed), Cameroon
(agreement signed, plan and list of schools completed), The Gambia, Ghana
(agreement signed), Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria,
Senegal, Sierra Leone (plan is drafted), South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania
(agreement signed) Uganda, and Zambia (agreement signed).
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeffrey Cochrane" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, October 06, 2000 2:56 AM
Subject: USAID Africa Wide Market Survey
> Greetings Afrik-ITes!
> USAID may soon undertake an Africa-wide survey of the
> market for ICT-related commodities and services,
> everything from computer systems to satellite systems,
> and Web site designers to business process reengineers.
> Let me stress that this survey will be Africa-wide, not
> only in Kenya. This survey may be used in developing a
> specific procurement, but no such procurement has been
> developed at this time.
> The type of procurement that might eventually be
> developed could be what we call an indefinite delivery,
> indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract, tendered under
> "commercial item" principles.
> An IDIQ contract is where firms and organizations are
> preselected in open competition and placed on a roster.
> Once a firm is approved and listed on the roster, then for
> the duration of the contract (perhaps 5 years) USAID
> could quickly and easily request any commodities and
> services from that firm that the firm agreed to make
> available when it bid on the contract.
> The "commercial item" principles simply state that
> USAID would follow the procedures for issuing a contract
> that are prevalent in the industry, rather than making
> firms and organizations adhere to special USAID
> procedures for bidding on a contract. The idea here is to
> assure that firms and organizations do not have to
> employ contracts specialists in order to compete for
> USAID business. USAID will in effect try and make the
> bidding process as easy as possible for participants.
> However, at this stage, no specific procurement action
> has been decided. USAID may choose not to issue any
> procurement action at all, and it may decide not to use
> the type of contracting procedures listed above. I am
> providing you the above information to encourage your
> interest in the market survey, especially if you have not
> previously considered doing business with USAID. We
> are simply initiating a market survey to see what
> commodities and services are available, at what level of
> quality, and at what prices.
> I have been asked to suggest the names of companies
> that might be contacted during this survey. Please do
> send me a brief note about you and your organization if
> you are interested in being contacted. The survey would
> likely take place between now and December. It will be
> conducted not by me but by official contracting officers or
> their designees. I am merely facilitating their work, and I
> do not have the authority to contract directly.
> For the survey, in general we would be looking for
> organizations and companies (for profit, not for profit) with
> broad market experience interested in talking about the
> market in general and not just about their particular firm.
> Of course USAID will be quite interested to know as well
> about the capabilities of particular firms and the services
> and commodities those organizations and companies
> might like to offer, and in what countries these
> organizations and companies might be willing to offer
> their products.
> For example, a firm in Gaborone might consider offering
> its commodities (e.g. computers) only in Botswana, but
> would be willing to send its technical staff on
> assignments in nearby countries. A company in Senegal
> might like to do business in any francophone country in
> West Africa. Etc.
> Again, during this survey no specific conversations will be
> held about particular procurements that might eventually
> be undertaken by USAID. No special consideration will
> be given to firms participating in the market survey.
> In addition to the above, we might like to know about how
> firms and organizations perceive the procurement
> process. Do certain types of organizations have
> advantages that are perceived to be unfair, for example?
> Does this preclude the US Government from using its
> funds efficiently to deliver the best value? Is there a
> better way that USAID can procure commodities and
> services in Africa? Is there information that USAID might
> provide to potential suppliers of commodities and services
> that would help them participate in the procurement
> process in a fair and equitable manner? Are there steps
> USAID can take to assure that the companies with which
> it does business truly deliver on promised quality, rather
> than just the lowest price?
> Organizations that have previously sent me information
> should send a followup note to me to express their
> continued interest in this process. I look forward to
> hearing from you.
> Jeff @ Nairobi
> Information and Communication Technology Programs
> Tel +254 (2) 862400 x2762
> Email [log in to unmask] (preferred)
> Email [log in to unmask]
> PO Box 30261