The Minister of State for Planning, David Bahati has highlighted the need for the establishment of a Project Management Institute (PMI) which will save the country the huge sums of money lost in poor project implementation and management.
The Minister made the call while officiating at the opening of the second National Project Management Conference, held at Hotel Africana in Kampala.
The Conference is a forum that builds on PMI Uganda’s ongoing efforts of growing the project management profession in Uganda with the aim of improving the quality of project outputs and in turn their impact to service delivery as required by national programs.
Bahati said that the country is losing a lot of money due to lack of well trained and skilled project managers.
“The country is losing a lot of money especially in infrastructure which would spur our economy but because of lack of capacity, procurement issues, poor leadership skills, the projects are not being implemented the way they should be implemented,” Bahati said.
Bahati said that government is looking forward to solutions from the PMI Uganda chapter on the way forward.
“Just imagine if all these projects were managed well and on time, our GDP would have gone to 200 trillion. It is possible to reach that far because the amount of money we are investing in infrastructure is massive and because of this infrastructure you can see how the country is developing,” Bahati said.
He added that, “We need more skills in project management to make our economy grow better. Public investment in infrastructure now forms 12% of our GDP, we have invested over 35tn just in one single year using our own resources, so focusing on how we can improve skills, efficiency in project management and implementation is key”.
PMI Uganda Chapter President, Maurice Barigye said that this year’s conference was targeting how project managers can improve on service delivery.
“The fact that approximately 12% of the country’s GDP is put in infrastructure and the biggest issue that we are losing 50% of this to poor projects speaks volume to the need for more training by the implementors,” Barigye said.
He added that, “This is also highlighted in the Auditor General’s reports which points at delayed projects, over-ran and aborted projects because of various reasons. This is all due to lack of capacity, people are picked from wherever and are asked to management projects worth huge sums of money.”
Barigye said that they are currently pushing to ensure that people recognize project management as a distinct profession the same way any government institute would not have an Accountant or Auditor who is not certified.
“A project manager should also be certified to run a particular project, there are standards, skills and practices that are globally set up. We believe that once we implement this by first of all having the institution recognized, then we shall go a step further”.