Frequently Asked Questions

Guided By International
Best Practice.

A significant proportion of TradeMark Africa (TMA) expenditure is expended through the purchase of goods, services and works. Therefore, our procurement is guided by international best practice with the principal objectives of achieving value for money and ensuring transparent, fair and open competition.

By doing this successfully, we will achieve TradeMark Africa (TMA)’s developmental objectives and stimulate economic development across East Africa. TradeMark Africa (TMA)’s funds are untied, which means that we will work with suppliers across the globe, whose bids for each tender are the most competitive.

Where can I find TradeMark Africa procurement guidelines and other information relating to its policies and procedures?

Procurement policies and procedures and any other information will be found on TradeMark Africa (TMA) website   https://www.trademarkafrica.com/procurement/, specifically under the supplier resources and procurement guidelines tabs.

How do I find out about supplier opportunities?

The TradeMark Africa (TMA) website –  https://www.trademarkafrica.com/ has the most up to date information. We also advertise tender opportunities in the East African, national newspapers in the EAC member countries and the African Business Magazine.

How do I submit a proposal for a tender?

All proposals are normally submitted via the Contract Management System (CMS) (https://procurement.trademarkea.com/). First-time bidders are required to log onto CMS and register and then submit proposals online through your account, using the unique username and password.

Can I submit my proposal using alternative means?

The default position is that proposals are to be submitted through the CMS. There may however be instances where hard copy or email submissions are sought, in which case this will be clearly stated in the advert and/ or tender document.

What if I forget my user name and password?

Users who have forgotten their username and/or password can use the following steps to access their accounts:

  1. Click on the “Login/Register” link at the right-hand corner of the home page.
  2. Click on the “Forgot Password” link below the login form.
  3. Enter the email address you registered with.
  4. Click “Remind”. This will send you an email with your username and a new password.
  5. Login to the site with your username and the new password provided.

How much does it cost to submit a proposal?

There are no costs, such as the purchase of bid documents, associated with TradeMark Africa (TMA) contracts. Where we act on behalf of partners, there may be a cost associated and this will be clearly set out in the advert and/ or bid documentation.

How do I ask questions or seek clarification on a tender opportunity?

Queries and clarifications must be sent by email only to  procurement@trademarkea.com. The advert and tender document/s will state the deadline after which queries will not be addressed.

How does TradeMark Africa (TMA) communicate changes during the course of a tender?

The Procurement Page on the TradeMark Africa (TMA) website always has the most up-to-date information. In some cases, TradeMark Africa (TMA) will advertise changes, etc. in the same newspapers/ journals as the initial  advert  especially  where  the  bidders  are  not  known.  So  for  example,  TMA  will normally place on any questions raised and the response provided, without disclosing the originator of the question/s, on our website. Any extension to the tender submission deadlines will also be placed on the TradeMark Africa (TMA) website.

Where TradeMark Africa (TMA) is procuring on behalf of the partner, am I allowed to contact the partner directly on issues relating to particular procurement processes?

No. Where TradeMark Africa (TMA) is the procuring entity, all queries relating to a procurement process shall be directed to procurement unit via  procurement@trademarkea.com.

Can I submit a tender with my own alternative conditions attached?

Any comments or suggestions for alterations on conditions/ instructions to tenderers or the terms of reference in a tender process should be forwarded to TradeMark Africa (TMA) via the procurement mailbox procurement@trademarke.com  for consideration prior to the tender closing date.

Can I correct mistakes in my bid or proposal after I have submitted it?

No. In some cases, errors shall be corrected by the evaluation panel during evaluations.

Does TradeMark Africa (TMA) give special preference to companies from certain countries?

No. TradeMark Africa (TMA) funds are untied meaning, all companies that meet the minimum tender requirements and eligibility are free to apply. However, the evaluation criteria may have preferential treatment in which case only bidders who sufficiently meet the overall criteria including the preferential treatment criteria shall be awarded the contract. TMA’s preferential approach is mainly around gender, sustainability, green parameters or regional perspective.

What happens if I submit my tender after the deadline?

Tenders received after the deadline shall be rejected and subsequently returned unopened.

If my bid is unsuccessful, will TradeMark Africa (TMA) explain why I failed and tell me who the preferred bidder is?

TradeMark Africa (TMA) will notify all shortlisted bidders of the outcome of a tendering process giving reasons. It is important to note that at the Expression of Interest (for consultancy services including non-consultancy services) or pre-qualification (for works and goods) stage, TradeMark Africa (TMA) does not provide feedback to nonresponsive bidders. All awarded contracts for processes that were subject to the open competition are published on the Procurement Page of the TradeMark Africa (TMA) website once a contract is signed.

Will TradeMark Africa (TMA) disclose the evaluation criteria for a tendering process?

Yes. The evaluation/scoring criteria and matrix are part of the tender document.

What documents are required to accompany proposals and what if I do not include/attach the stated documents?

All documents required to accompany the bids, shall be explicitly stipulated in the Instructions/information  to  Bidders  (ITBs)  in  the  tender  documents.  Failure  to  attach, include or disclose the relevant information may lead your bid being declared non- responsive and thus rejected.

How long does it take for a winning bidder to be identified?

The duration from tender advert to contract award ranges between 1 and 5months depending on the procurement process, scope, value and complexity; Process information is also available the CMS.

What if the bid currency of my proposal differs from the currency specified in the TMA Tender documents?

The costs shall all be converted to one unit currency for comparison purposes. Bidder is advised to bid in the currency requested in the tender document.

Can I contest a procurement decision or outcome of a tender?

All proposals and supporting documents are to be submitted in English.  There are instances where supporting documents and other literature may be in another language in which case such   documents   must   be   accompanied   by   translations   to   English,   certified   by   a Commissioner of Oaths. For purposes of evaluation of the bid, the translation in English shall prevail.

Can a notification for award be withdrawn?

Yes. Unsuccessful bidders are allowed 14 calendar days to ask questions and/or raise objections – any complaint that is upheld may lead to withdrawal of the bid award notification. TradeMark Africa (TMA) does not have any legal obligation on award of offers.

Can I contest a procurement decision or outcome of a tender?

All queries and complaints should in the first instance be directed to procurement@trademarkea.com if you are still not satisfied, you may escalate your issue to complaints@trademarkea.com where it will be looked into independently. The complaints procedure is available on the Procurement Page on the TradeMark Africa (TMA) website. TradeMark Africa (TMA) allows a 14- day standstill period prior to award of a contract for any bidder to seek any clarification.

Does TradeMark Africa (TMA) retain in their database information on registration of Contractors and Suppliers?

Yes. TradeMark Africa (TMA) retains information concerning the capabilities and experience of consultants/suppliers, which enable it to judge the acceptability of consultants who have been registered in the system. The provided information is used for the sole purpose of preparing short list for opportunities advertised and including consultants and/or suppliers in the financial system.

What is TMAs Due Diligence?

TMA’s due diligence entails carrying out background and reference/ track record checks on any supplier who submits a bid.

If only one bid is submitted, will that bidder be awarded the contract

If only one bid is received, TradeMark Africa (TMA) at its own discretion will determine whether requirements were clear and not ambiguous based on the clarifications received or not received. If that is the case, TradeMark Africa (TMA) will have no objection in declaring the bid as the most economically advantageous tender and award the contract to the bidder so long as it is found to be technically and commercially viable.In the event that TradeMark Africa (TMA) establishes that the requirements were too restrictive, unclear, ambiguous, bias and the clarifications put on the website did not address the issues, the process will be cancelled for the terms of reference/specifications to be revised and the process be re-launched.Furthermore, if several bids are received, but only one is fully technically compliant andresponsive, TradeMark Africa (TMA) will proceed to open its financial proposal and proceed to award the contract to that bidder.

Can firms submit as joint ventures? Are there specific requirements TradeMark Africa (TMA) will request for from Joint ventures?

Yes.  However, cross bidding is not allowed, that is, a JV member cannot separately bid in the same process. In the unlikely event that this happens, both bids shall be rejected.

For  JV  or  consortium  or  association  submissions,  all  of  the parties  shall  be  jointly  and severally liable at implementation when contracted.

How does TradeMark Africa (TMA) define sustainable procurement?

TMA defines sustainable procurement as a state where production, distribution, consumption/use  and  disposal  of  goods  and  services  enhance  long  term  benefits  and survival of the society in which it operates in to improve economies and improve lives. The organization supports and recognizes that leadership in sustainable procurement can accelerate  the  transition  to  an  environmentally,  socially  and  economically  sustainable future.

What are some considerations that TMA has put in place as step towards sustainability?

TMA has various considerations towards sustainable procurement approaches  which is unique to a procurement process and therefore contained in the specific tender document.

Is Life cycle costing considered part of sustainability in TradeMark Africa (TMA) procurement?

TradeMark Africa (TMA) contracts are awarded based on the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT), which means that Life cycle costing is given consideration.Life-cycle costing (LCC) means considering all the costs that will be incurred during the lifetime of the product, work or service:

  1. Purchase price and all associated costs (delivery, installation, insurance, etc.)
  2. Operating costs, including energy, fuel and water use, spares, and maintenance
  3. End-of-life costs, such as decommissioning or disposal

By applying LCC, the procurement unit takes into account the costs of resource use, maintenance and disposal which are not reflected in the purchase price. Often this will lead to ‘win-win’ situations whereby a greener product, work or service is also cheaper overall. The main potential for savings over the life-cycle of a good, work or service are:

  1. Savings on use of energy, water and fuel
  2. Savings on maintenance and replacement
  3. Savings on disposal costs

Can I suggest other sustainable approaches other than what has been stated in the bid document?

Different procurement sustainable approaches stated in a bid document seek to address specific areas that TradeMark Africa (TMA) and/or the partner would want addressed. A bidder may in addition to the approaches stated in the bid document propose other sustainable methodologies that may make them more competitive, which should include approaches on: –

  1. Reduction on environmental impact;
  2. Reduction on material consumption;
  3. Recycling of materials/waste; and
  4. Reduction on energy consumption.

Will more consideration be given to a proposal that has proposed sustainable procurement approaches?

Yes. This will be stated in the bid document.