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Of public projects missing deadlines in Malawi

By Twink Jones Gadama

Projects play a crucial role in the economic and social development of a country. They provide opportunities for growth, employment, and infrastructure development, among other benefits.

In Malawi, a landlocked country in southeastern Africa, projects have had a significant impact on its progress and transformation.

Importance of Projects

Projects in Malawi are vital for several reasons. Firstly, they contribute to the development of infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals. These projects improve the quality of life for Malawians by ensuring better access to basic services and facilities.

Additionally, infrastructure development stimulates economic growth by facilitating trade, attracting investments, and creating jobs.

Projects also play a significant role in poverty reduction. They serve as a platform for income generation and entrepreneurship, particularly for vulnerable groups such as women and youth.

Small-scale projects and micro-enterprises can provide employment opportunities and improve livelihoods, lifting people out of poverty. Furthermore, projects focused on agriculture, education, and healthcare can enhance food security, increase literacy rates, and improve public health.

The Cost of Delays

Delays in project implementation can have severe consequences for both the economy and society. In Malawi, such delays often result from insufficient funding, bureaucratic red tape, inadequate project management, and a lack of skilled personnel. The cost of delays can be measured in financial terms, as well as social and environmental impacts.

Financially, delayed projects lead to cost overruns, where the initial budget is exceeded due to inflation, increased material prices, and extended contract periods. These overruns stretch the already limited resources, diverting funds from other important development initiatives.

Consequently, delayed projects hinder economic growth and perpetuate poverty by reducing the available resources for other vital sectors.

On a social level, delayed projects can have adverse effects on the well-being of communities. For example, a delayed school construction project means children are left without proper educational facilities, resulting in compromised learning opportunities.

Similarly, a delayed healthcare facility may deprive communities of access to essential medical services, leading to increased mortality rates and decreased overall health outcomes.

Rail Delayed Project

One notable example of a delayed project in Malawi is the rail infrastructure project. This project aimed to rehabilitate and expand the country’s rail network to enhance transportation, trade, and economic development. However, the project faced numerous delays and setbacks, including funding constraints, technical challenges, and inadequate project management.

The rail delayed project had a significant impact on Malawi’s economy. It hindered the efficient movement of goods and services, increased transportation costs, and limited the country’s competitiveness in regional and international markets.

Furthermore, the delays prevented the realization of potential economic benefits, such as increased trade, job creation, and improved livelihoods for communities along the rail network.


To address the challenges and improve project management in Malawi, several suggestions can be considered. Firstly, there is a need for enhanced coordination among government ministries, departments, and agencies involved in project implementation. This coordination will ensure efficient resource allocation, timely decision-making, and effective monitoring and evaluation.

Secondly, capacity-building initiatives should be prioritized to develop skilled project management professionals within the country. This can be achieved through training programs, collaborations with universities and institutions, and knowledge-sharing platforms.

Skilled personnel will bring efficiency, innovation, and effective project management practices to ensure timely and successful project implementation.

Moreover, it is crucial to address the issue of insufficient funding for projects in Malawi. The government should explore partnerships with international organizations, development banks, and private sector entities to secure additional financing. Additionally, mechanisms for public-private partnerships can be established to attract investments and share the financial burden of project implementation.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are those of the author not necessarily The Maravi Post or The Editor

Maravi Post Author
Maravi Post Author
Today's Opinion · Op-Ed Columnists · Editorials · Op-Ed Contributors to the Maravi Post· The Maravi Post accepts opinion essays on any topic. Published pieces typically run from 400 to 1,200 words, but drafts of any length within the bounds of reason will be considered.
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