On March 8, 2021, the EU-funded Malawi Infrastructure Transparency and Accountability Project was officially launched through a virtual event. The project, entitled, “Strengthening the Capacity of CSOs to Promote Transparency and Accountability in Public Infrastructure Projects in Malawi” will train civil society organizations (CSOs) in Malawi to monitor infrastructure deals and hold officials accountable. This project will also demonstrate the added value of CSO actors in efforts to enhance transparency and combat corruption.
Martha Kwataine, the Malawian Presidential Advisor for CSOs and NGOs, presided over the event and expressed the timeliness of the project and need for citizen engagement in the monitoring infrastructure procurement. Kenneth Harry Msiska, NCIC/CoST Malawi Programs Officer, chaired the launch and opened the event with a short documentary discussing the state of infrastructure procurement in Malawi and the solutions offered by the project’s proposed activities.
Joe Ching’ani, Chair, CoST Malawi
Linda Phiri, CEO, National Construction Industry Council
Dr. Felix Lombe, CEO, African Institute for Corporate Citizenship
Richard Stern, President, Partnership for Transparency
Martha Kwataine, Presidential Adviser for CSOs and NGOs
Janet Mortoo, Programme Manager of Public Financial Management, EU Delegation Malawi
Subsequent speakers included:
- Lyford Gideon, Manager of CoST Malawi
- Felix Lombe, CEO of the African Institute for Corporate Citizenship (AICC)
- Linda Phiri, CEO of the National Construction Industry Council (NCIC)
- Evelyn Hernandez, Head of Members and Affiliates at CoST
- Richard Stern, President of the Partnership for Transparency (PTF)
- Janet Mortoo, Programme Manager of Public Financial Management at the EU Delegation Malawi
- Bertha Phiri, Acting CEO of the Malawi Economic Justice Network (MJEN)
- Nations Msowoya, Unit Head of the National Authorizing Office at the Ministry of Finance
- Joe Ching’ani, Chair of the CoST Malawi Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG)
- Martha Kwataine, Presidential Adviser for CSOs and NGOs
All speakers expressed their personal support for this project and the commitment of their respective organizations to this work. Ching’ani especially noted the need for efficient infrastructure for national development, and the need for citizen engagement in efforts to ensure integrity in the sector. While acknowledging the significance of this work, Mortoo challenged the project implementors to go beyond typical quick-fix trainings. She emphasized the importance of working to ensure the sustainability of citizen monitors’ work to promote transparency and accountability in infrastructure procurement.
Following the speakers’ remarks, audience members were invited to ask questions. The major issues of concern included potential politicization of project activities and access to CSOs outside of major cities. Kwataine and other speakers claimed these issues would be taken very seriously and continually monitored throughout the project to ensure that the positive results are not limited to only a few, but shared as widely as possible.
For a more comprehensive overview of the launch with details on each speaker’s remarks, please see the full report here.
For more information on the launch or the project in general, please contact:
Kenneth Harry Msiska, NCIC/CoST Malawi Programs Officer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Wells, PTF Finance and Administration Officer – email@example.com