by Andrew Wells
On July 12, 2022, President Chakwera gave a rousing speech on the grounds of the Mtiti Primary School in Dowa, Malawi to signify the launch of the M1 Road rehabilitation. He declared the road’s rehabilitation to be an initiative that would connect Malawians as well as facilitate trade and positive relations along the route from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Durban, South Africa. The President cited the Infrastructure Platform for Public Infrastructure (IPPI), developed by the EU-funded project, “Strengthening the Capacity of CSOs to Promote Transparency and Accountability in Public Infrastructure Projects in Malawi,” which is being managed by the Partnership for Transparency, AICC/IP and NCIC/CoST Malawi, as a vital tool for ensuring the success of the project. He further obliged procurement entities to upload all relevant and up-to-date project information on the IPPI by August 31.
President Chakwera speaking that the launch of the M1 Road Rehabilitation
As the M1 Road is the major route, running north-south, it connects with all other major roads in the country. Its rehabilitation will thus drive development throughout the country. President Chakwera noted the benefits that the road’s rehabilitation would bring, such as reduced costs for transport, reduced road accidents, construction jobs, improved tourism, agriculture and governance, and a general rise in development, which would cut across the country.
The President expressed gratitude towards the European Union and European Investment Bank, which is committing around 100 million Euros to this major infrastructure project. He also noted other road rehabilitation projects, for which the planning is underway. These include, the M5 between Benga and Dwangwa, being financed through the African Development Bank and OPEC Fund for International Development; the road between Liwonde and Matawale, being financed through the World Bank; and the M1 and M8 roads being financed by the African Development Bank. The President called on all development partners to deliver tangible benefits such as these to ensure Malawi’s sustainable development.
President Chakwera also cited three dangers that could threaten the success of this project and which therefore must be avoided. The first was corruption, calling on all those involved in the project to account for all funds. The second was poor standards, both in the physical quality of the road and any delays in completing the project. The third danger was lack of accountability. The President noted his becoming the CoST Malawi National Champion in April of 2021. He cited section 57, subsection 3 of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA) Act, which obliges procuring entities to disclose all material project information in compliance with transparency. The President pointed to the IPPI, developed by CoST Malawi as part of the “Strengthening the Capacity of CSOs to Promote Transparency and Accountability in Public Infrastructure Projects in Malawi” project. He placed the responsibility on procuring entities to upload project data on the IPPI by August 31, 2022.
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