CoST Inducts President Lazarus Chakwera as CoST Malawi Champion

14th June 2021

President Chakwera posing for a photograph with CoST Malawi MSG after the induction. Picture courtesy of State House.

CoST– the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative officially welcomed President Lazarus Chakwera as CoST Malawi Champion during an induction ceremony held on 21st April, 2021 at Mtunthama State Residences in Lilongwe. The hybrid event was attended in-person by members of the CoST Malawi Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) and CoST Malawi secretariat while the CoST International Secretariat and CoST Africa Regional Office, led by Christiann Poortman, Chairperson of the CoST International Board of Trustees, joined the event via Zoom.

The speakers during the event were Lyford Gideon, CoST Manager, Linda Phiri, CEO NCIC/CoST Malawi MSG Secretary, John Hawkins, Head of Programmes, CoST International, Peter Matthews, Executive Director, Cost International, Chris Portman, Chairperson, CoST International Board of Trustees. Joe Ching’ani, CoST Malawi MSG Chair and His Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera in that order.

Speaking on behalf of CoST International, Mr. Poortman conveyed a message of appreciation on behalf of the CoST family to the president for accepting to take over the role of champion, becoming the first head of state and government to do so since CoST’s inception. Mr. Poortman emphasized that CoST can play a huge role in the president’s “clearing the rubble agenda”. He therefore appealed to the President, who will be taking over the mantle of Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to use his position and influence in the region to grow the CoST movement.

In his acceptance speech His Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera said CoST was a blessing and that he was grateful for the invitation to become CoST Malawi Champion. He was also pleased that CoST Malawi is one of the outstanding country programs in the CoST family of nineteen (19) country chapters.

The President unequivocally stated that in his time as president he will make sure that “openness must be the norm and not an option”. He therefore assured the members present that he will not allow the politicization of CoST Malawi activities.

The coming in of the President as CoST Malawi Champion comes at a time when CoST Malawi in partnership with Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF) and African Institute for Corporate Citizenship (AICC) are implementing a three-year long European Union (EU) funded project aimed at strengthening the capacity of CSOs to promote transparency and accountability in public infrastructure projects.