Conquering the logistics world every day

Kanovengi is a senior procurement officer at the National Housing Enterprise.

03 July 2020 | People

Michelline Nawatises

Oscar Kanovengi was born in Windhoek on 17 September 1978, the year in which the Herero Paramount Chief Clemence Kapuuo was assassinated. “I emphasise this because I’m part of the peer group named after him called Otjiwondo tjaKapuuo (Otja Kapuuo Peers),” he says.

Kanovengi grew up with his grandmother at Okaundja, a famous village in Okakarara Constituency in Otjozondjupa Region, and only returned to Windhoek in 1985 to start school. He started Sub A at Theo Katjimune Primary School, moved to Okahandja to become one of the first group of learners at the new Nau-Aib Primary School in 1988, and completed grade 12 at Okahandja Senior Secondary School/

He took a break from books for almost five years because he was asked by his dad to help him out with his shops and farming activities in Gobabis and spend some time in the area of Buitepos (Okanaindo). During that time Kanovengi became friends with some people from Botswana and a man called Sam Taylor from Vryburg, South Africa.

Taylor helped him out when he decided to pursue his studies and moved to Pretoria in 2002.

“I enrolled for an Accounting Technician Diploma course at the then Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), now University of Johannesburg (UJ), to do accountancy and hopefully becoming a chartered accountant,” he shares.

Due to financial constraints, his studies were cut short and he returned home and got a job at the Omaheke Regional Council as a clerk in the Settlement Office of Otjinene.

Procurement love at first sight

In 2008, he moved to Ministry of Justice in Windhoek in the Transport and Procurement section and that’s where his love for procurement started.

“With some persuasion by the Registrar of the High Court, Elsie Schickerling, for which I will forever be indebted to her, I moved to the High Court of Namibia and specifically dealt with procurement and upon the inception of the Office of the Judiciary,” he says.

In 2016, he became instrumental in spearheading the implementation of the newly enacted Public Procurement Act. As a result of working in procurement, he enrolled and obtained a bachelor’s degree in public management from Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). Kanovengi moved to the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) at the end of 2018 as a senior procurement officer.

He reports to the manager of supply chain management and his job is all about procurement.

“I am responsible for all procurement-related activities at NHE,” he says. This entails initiating any procurement as per needs analysis, helping the manager with the formulation of corporate procurement plans, drafting of bidding documents, and inviting bids.

Some of his core functions are to facilitate the evaluation of bids and to compile reports for presentation to Procurement Committee and CEO, to facilitate the notification of awards, compile executive summaries, respond to queries, compile procurement reports, and to manage, terminate and renew various contracts.

He also has a duty of ensuring overall adherence and compliance with procurement legislation. “This is to make sure that every procurement is executed in conformity with the set framework,” he adds.

One particular challenge he faced in his career was trying to strike a balance between work, study family and farming. “Obtaining my bachelor’s degree through part-time study was an accomplishment that stood out, if I consider the struggle I endured,” he says proudly.

Kanovengi explains that the procurement section has become very demanding in recent times. He firmly believes this is the situation in all public entities whose procurement is guided by the Public Procurement Act.

His typical day in the office consists of dealing with any other thing related to procurement such as contract management. “I also have a supervisory role over procurement staff, and I embrace their professionalism,” he says.

Kanovengi plans to do a Master of Law (LLM) degree in procurement law from one of the universities in the UK. One of his plans is to contribute to the development of procurement in Namibia.

“I want to see the procurement profession grow by leaps and bounds so that procurement officials get the necessary recognition and respect like any other profession,” he says.

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