LILONGWE (Malawi NewsNow ) —Malawi Vice President Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima has called on Cabinet Ministers and their deputies to embrace the Public Private Partnership (PPP) to complement efforts in accelarating national development through improved social service delivery to the people.
Dr Chilima made the call on Monday at the opening of a Cabinet Orientation on PPPs at Malawi Institute of Management (MIM).
The Vice-President, who later chaired a closed door session with the ministers, said the objective of the orientation was to ensure that the rationale, objectives and benefits of PPPs are understood at Cabinet level.
He also said it was aimed at equipping the cabinet in dealing with modern business practice as they are positioned at the helm of implementation process of all Government policies and strategies.
“Government has been implementing the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II (MGDS II) as a tool for achieving economic growth and reducing poverty or if we put it from a positivist approach, we should be creating wealth and new wealth.
“The MGDS II, currently under review, recognizes the role of infrastructure in spurring economic growth and thereby uplifting the quality of life for the people of Malawi,” he said.
The VP further explained that Government is aware that the level of access to essential public services such as electricity, clean water and ICT services need significant attention, and that there is need to have radical approach if the essential services are to be provided to Malawians.
He bemoaned the situation of access to electricity in Malawi saying Malawi’s access to electricity is at 10 percent and is one of the lowest access rates in the SADC region.
“As a country we require significant resources in order to improve access to electricity, clean water, health and education,” said Dr. Chilima.
He said in order to correct the situation, government was counting on and courting the private sector to complement its efforts in improving delivery of social services to the people hence the policy decision to involve the private sector in the supply of required infrastructure in key sectors.
Said Dr. Chilima: “This will be done through the promulgation of the Public Private Partnership Act of 2011 which provides the institutional and legal framework to support the conception and development of PPP projects in Malawi.
“The Act was put in place upon realization that, throughout the world, the private sector has so much to offer in augmenting the supply of infrastructure,” said the VP.”
He said “Empirical evidence shows that the private sector has sustainable competitive advantage over the State in mobilising financing and managing risks.”
Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC) commissioner Ms Rosemary Mkandawire said it was important for the Cabinet to be taken through the PPP process.
“No PPP project can be implemented without Cabinet’s sanction, therefore, it was important to hold this capacity building forum,” she said.
The orientation session was funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) through its Capacity Building Assistance Initiative.