18th March 2021

CoST Malawi, the infrastructure transparency initiative, is delighted to inform its stakeholders and the general public that, His Excellency the President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has assumed the role of the ‘Champion’ for the initiative.

This makes Malawi the first ever CoST member to have the Head of State in this role which focusses on promoting and institutionalizing CoST across government as a tool to improve transparency, participation and accountability in public infrastructure. It also demonstrates the President’s fulfillment of his pledge for a new dawn in government transparency and accountability and his high values of servant leadership. The President said, quote;

My Government strongly believes that availability of adequate and efficient infrastructure not only promotes rapid industrialization but also improves the quality of the lives of the people. My work in this role begins right away….’

CoST works with government, private sector and civil society to promote the disclosure, validation and interpretation of data from infrastructure projects. This helps to inform and empower citizens and enables them to hold decision-makers to account. CoST experience indicates that informed citizens and responsive public institutions help drive reforms that reduce mismanagement, inefficiency, corruption and the risks posed to the public from poor quality infrastructure. CoST works in 20 countries globally with members spanning four continents.

Malawi was one of the first member countries to adopt a legal mandate for data disclosure in 2017, as espoused in the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act, Section 57 subsection 2 and 3. The former CoST Malawi Champion and Vice President, Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima played a central role in pushing the legislation reform. Today, the provisions outlined in the Act alongside the recently operationalized Access To Information (ATI) go a long way to ensuring that the government is for the people and by the people.

CoST – ‘Quality infrastructure, stronger economies and better lives’.