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Experts blame poor projects on lack of trained personnel

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NG’OMA—Project execution is a big problem

Project management specialists have indicated that lack of trained personnel, in both the public and private sectors has aggravated cases of substandard and aborted projects in the country, losing billions of Kwacha in the process.

This came out during a training workshop for project managers organised by Sycamore Consult currently underway in Blantyre.

One of the facilitators at the workshop Godwin Ng’oma, said the country was faring well but there was a need to do much better.

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“A lot of projects being undertaken are being completed in the right time or with the right quality; so, we are only well because we know what a project is and we are able to engage in projects but the execution and doing things right is what we are missing.

“The most important thing is to have more people trained in project management. Right now 80 percent of the people managing projects in Malawi are not trained in this field but are just given a task because someone recommended them,” Ng’oma said.

Sycamore Consult founder and retired project manager Audrey Mwala concurred with Ng’oma, saying most projects in Malawi run over the planned cost.

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“From a business setup to the entire economy, development starts with a project so if we are not doing well in projects there will be no development.

“We should move away from assigning people to run projects because they are not busy or they do things faster or are passionate about it. Project management needs qualifications; one must study for it and have practical experience of handling it the same way an accountant would handle accounts for a complex organisation,” Mwala said.

The workshop was attended by employees of Electricity Generation Company, Old Mutual Malawi and Mybucks Banking Corporation.

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