Remarks from the Senior Regional Manager, Africa
Dear Stakeholders, Colleagues and Friends of CoST – the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative
I am very happy to see you all here and to welcome you to the launch of the CoST Uganda’s 4th Assurance Report.
CoST Uganda is among the 6 CoST members from Africa, (Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Ghana and Malawi).
Globally, CoST work is growing in impact and numbers. Our membership has grown to 19 countries, spanning four continents and now includes associate and sub-national members. In the last five years those members have disclosed data on more than 35,000 investments involving billions of dollars.
Our tools and approaches represent the most advanced technology and have received endorsement from the G20, C20, The International Anticorruption Academy, European Investment Bank (EIB) and the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC).
I congratulate CoST Uganda, the Champion, Procuring and Disclosing Entities in the 4th Assurance Process, the National Secretariat, and all stakeholders on this great milestone amidst the COVID19 pandemic. We are impressed by the impact of CoST Uganda.
A lot has been achieved, but yet, a lot needs to be done. When CoST International is recruiting members/affiliates, they make commitments; Uganda made commitments to adopt the CoST Infrastructure Data Standard (IDS) and recently the Open Contracting for Infrastructure Data Standard (OC4IDS).
I also congratulate CoST Uganda and stakeholders for the campaign on Fair Business practices, which has brought together the private sector with Government. It is our prayer that, this initiative is sustained by Government beyond the CoST initiative.
In my remarks at the launch of the 3rd Assurance report, I noted that disclosure has been one of the main challenges in the Assurance process. I am particularly impressed with the results of the 4th Assurance process, where overall disclosure is at 62% in 2020 raising from 42% in 2019.
I note however, key observations from the 4th Assurance process include lack of clear disclosure frameworks, and out dated data. We commit our support to efforts in regards to putting in place measures for disclosure such as; an Infrastructure Transparency Portal or establishing a Formal Disclosure Requirement, to address the challenges of infrastructure data categorization.
The observations made in the report include; issues of cost and time overruns, challenges in procurement transparency, stakeholder engagement, quality control, safety concerns on project sites, the general challenge of planning are not new, we have observed such concerns in previous reports, it is our hope and prayer that Government through the line Ministries, Agencies and Departments finds lasting solutions to addressing these issues.
Infrastructure delivery can be painful to a local person, especially when they have not been involved, when everyone owns and appreciates their role in infrastructure delivery, feedback is positively received and used to create impact. This is what we seek to promote through Assurance and the Multi-Stakeholder approach.
As we participate in this high level meeting and launch the 4th Assurance Report today, I would like us all, to reflect on how we can capitalize on our different perspectives and mandates to accelerate the achievement of transparency and accountability in public infrastructure projects in Uganda.
I hope that our discussions today will help us to think not only on what we are doing, but also how we are doing it and to whom so that in the end we deliver the results that improve both the condition and the position of our people, the citizens for whom we serve.
I ask us all to take keen interest in the recommendations for action.
“Quality Infrastructure, Stronger economies and Better lives.”
Senior Regional Manager, Africa,