Capturing the 21St Century: African Peer Review (APRM) Best Practices and Lessons Learned

By Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, May 22, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- A newly published study by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) seeks to respond to key questions about the relevance of the Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), on the margins of the ongoing celebrations to commemorate 50 years of the Organization for African Unity (OAU), which is now the African Union. The book's launch this week also coincides with the screening of a video documentary “The APRM: Working for the African People”.

Entitled Capturing the 21St Century: African Peer Review (APRM) Best Practices and Lessons Learned, the publication is the outcome of a two-day workshop held in 2012 by scholars and academics involved in governance, development and democratization issues in Africa; practitioners and consultants in the various aspects of the operation of NEPAD and the APRM; as well as those who had been closely involved in the initial stages of the crafting, structuring and implementation of the APRM.

The report highlights the importance of situating the APRM within the history of African development since colonial times and the struggle for democracy on the continent. It also teases out the presentations and discussions that provide insightful comparative analyses of the APRM and development and governance policy issues that have emerged from the APRM country processes.

The report discusses the limitations of the APRM and proposes the need to focus on what it can deliver. The report further provides an insight into the complementary debate on democracy and development and the way forward for Africa amidst the challenges of globalization and African continental integration.

Both the study and the video documentary are seen as important for responding to questions about why countries should participate in the lengthy, but important review process. As reiterated at the 10th anniversary APRM Colloquium this week by Mr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the ECA, the APRM has received acclaim for its contribution to sustainable growth and development in the continent. The homegrown governance mechanism has consolidated Africa's ownership of its development agenda.