Country Context

25th October 2017

Malawi, a Southern Africa Country, has a rapidly growing population estimated at 17.1 million which lack adequate infrastructure to support its social economic well-being especially in the rural areas where 88% of its population live. Reports by the World Economic Forum (Global Competitive Index) indicate that inadequate supply of infrastructure has remained one of the problematic factors for doing business. Overtime, the country has increased investment in infrastructure with an estimated 30% of the public budget being directed into infrastructure projects and registering annual growth ranging from 2.5 to 5.6%, between 2012 and 2015. However mismanagement and/or corruption have been evident with a lot of cost and time overruns on a number of projects.


The Public Procurement Act of 2003 was a first attempt at ensuring transparency and accountability in procurement although it has a limited scope. The Act encouraged disclosure of the procurement process up to the award process but the requirement is confined to players in the bid process and lacks sanctions for non-compliance.


Section 26 of Malawi’s Public Procurement Act (2003) only encourages disclosure to award stage. This hasn’t been helpful for transparency and accountability of such projects. However, the Act has been amended to incorporate Formal Disclosure Requirements and only awaits approval by Parliament. Also, the Malawi Government recently launched a National Construction Industry Policy which prioritizes Good Corporate Governance which tackles transparency and accountability as advocated by the CoST initiative. The National Construction Industry Council, which is a local regulator of the industry, is reviewing its Act and is intent at incorporating CoST principles in it. All these steps are aimed at ensuring that CoST is institutionalized in the Government systems.