Critical Skills for Infrastructure Procurement: Insights from Developing Country Contexts

Richard Ohene Asiedu, Patrick Manu, Abdul Majeed Mahamadu, Colin Booth, Paul Olomolaiye, Kofi Agyekum, Mohamed Abadi

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Purpose: Effective procurement of infrastructure is partly dependent on infrastructure procurement personnel having the skills that are important for the discharge of their role. Addressing the infrastructure deficits in developing countries, therefore, calls for an understanding of the skills that are important for the discharge of the roles of public personnel that are involved in infrastructure procurement. This study aims to investigate these skills from the perspective of public infrastructure procurement personnel in the sub-Saharan African region. Design/methodology/approach: A questionnaire survey of procurement personnel yielded 590 useable responses, which were analysed using t-tests and exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Findings: EFA established eight key components of important infrastructure procurement skills to include skills related to: project success factors; social and environmental sustainability; marketing and e-procurement; project phase management, the application of procurement laws and procedures; soft skills, ICT and communication; and data analysis and team building. Originality/value: The findings are crucial in developing infrastructure procurement capacity building programmes that would be appropriate for infrastructure procurement personnel in developing country contexts. Infrastructure procurement personnel ought to engage more in capacity development training that is aligned to enhancing skills within the eight components.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberJEDT-08-2021-0437
JournalJournal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Early online date3 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2021


  • Construction procurement
  • Construction project management
  • Developing countries
  • Infrastructure
  • Procurement
  • Skills
  • Survey


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