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Malawi - Railways Restructuring Project (Inglés)

The audit concurs with the Implementation Completion Report's ratings of satisfactory project outcome, likely sustainability, and substantial institutional development, as well as satisfactory performances by both the Bank, and Borrower. A number of lessons confirm that restructuring can make eventual privatization process more manageable, but significant performance improvement should not be expected in the interim. Similarly, substantial investment in the interim should be avoided as possible, since prospective concessionaires do not always put commensurate values on these investments. Furthermore, the creation of two separate entities by the Malawi railway restructuring, to manage the reorganized railway operation, and to carry out the retrenchment of staff, and disposal of surplus assets, proved a valuable exercise. It is conveyed that intense policy dialogue with the government should be kept, to maintain the focus on privatization, exemplified by the project's conditionality to make substantial disbursements, conditional on progress on the privatization agenda, a useful instrument that gave good privatization results. However, given the complexity of staff retrenchment, careful planning, and rigorous economic, and social assessment is required, thus, an analysis on the distribution of costs, and benefits should be included as part of the cost-benefit analysis, and, establishing appropriate regulatory mechanisms for the post-privatization period should not be overlooked.

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