Solutions for Energy challenge mapped, ready for Implementation

by Monica Tambala

The Energy main delivery laboratory meeting at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) has agreed to review some laws in the energy sector as a means of dealing with the challenges  the country is facing in the sector.

Speaking during the closing of the Energy Main Delivery Laboratory organised by the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) in Lilongwe, Head of PDU, Dr. Janet Banda said the labs have been a positive pathway towards the delivery of flagship projects in the energy sector by unlocking other major challenges in the sector.

Head of PDU, Dr. Janet Banda

“It is encouraging that quite a number of new resolutions and timelines have been agreed upon. One other key area on which the labs have unlocked major challenges is on the Mpatamanga Project where the relevant law should be amended to allow for participation.

The presence of key stakeholders under one roof also allowed some issues to be taken head on; for example, Reserve Bank has been responsive on the forex issues affecting procurement while Raiply likewise on the issue of pole supply,” she said.

Banda said the PDU has also called for Problem Solving Meetings (PSMs) on Monday, March 11, 2024 where some other bottlenecks affecting flagship projects will be unblocked.

In his remarks, Director of Energy Services in the Ministry of Energy, Joseph Kalowekamo hailed the energy labs which he says have helped identify challenges that will be resolved when other stakeholders linked to the challenges meet to deliberate during the problem solving meetings.

Kalowekamo also recognised that procurement was indeed an issue in terms of implementation of projects in the ministry of energy but was hopeful that the plans to review the procurement act will steer procurement in the right trajectory.

“At the same time, we do also implement projects that are funded by donors such as World Bank so we do follow procurement procedures of the World Bank in that regard, We will also be engaging the Bank if it is possible to streamline some of these procurement processes so that we can save on time and be able to deliver our projects,” he said.

In his speech, Director at PDU, Enwell Kadango concurred with Kalowekamo on the need to change the current list based procurement process of evaluating bids which he said proves challenging by offering bids to others who may lack the capacity to deliver.

“So what we have looked at here is to agree with the authorities on how to change this model of procurement so that we give bids to a bidder who has the capacity and the right value, Although we have been awarding lowest bidders before we are saying that this is not correct, let us look at the real evaluation and follow accordingly,” he said.