By Chimwemwe Mangazi:
The African Development Bank Group has expressed worry over delays in identifying a consultant for the Promoting Investment and Competitiveness in the Tourism Sector (PICTS) Project, stressing that it will affect implementation of follow up activities under the project.
During the handover ceremony of motor vehicles and motor bikes to be used in the project, AfDB Officer in Charge for Malawi, Eyerusalem Fasika, said the bank was not happy that, a year after implementing the programme, a consultant had not been identified.
“Delays to hire consultants have potential to put pressure in implementing follow-up activities we shall ensure that reviews and clearances are done on time.
“We also note that disbursement remains low, hence it is important to closely monitor implementation of project activities and manage contracts more effectively once signed,” Fasika said.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Ken Ndala, said he recently signed to confirm a consultant for the project.
Industry, Trade and Tourism Minister, Francis Kasaila, said they took long to confirm the consultant as they were following legal procedures to avoid problems in future.
“Procurement processes are quite tricky sometimes. When you rush them through, you find yourself on the other side of the law. So we wanted to make sure that, when we procure a consultant for a project like this one, we are within the law and we are recruiting somebody we really need,” Kasaila said.
The PICTS project, which is being implemented using a $10 million grant from the AfDB, aims at creating an enabling environment for investment in the tourism sector through enhanced capacity in planning and business management.
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