APRM launches peer review process for Senegal
The APRM has launched a peer review process for Senegal, making it the 20th African country to be assessed for good and responsive governance.
Launched yesterday (12 April 2016) by Senegalese Prime Minister H.E Mohammed Dionne the process allows the country to open itself up to criticism, provide space for dialogue on governance and socio-economic indicators for its populace as well as the opportunity to build a national consensus on the way forward of its development agenda.
Delivering the keynote address at the launch ceremony Prime Minister Dionne said the peer review process in Senegal marked a watershed moment towards the country's commitment to good governance.
“We believe this process will help Senegal achieve the kind of capable state that we need. The APRM process will assist us in making the kind of society that is essential for a thriving democracy. Our government therefore reaffirms its commitment to work jointly with the APRM task force to ensure a successful Country Review Process,” he added.
The West African country is hailed for its thriving democracy and political stability. It is the second African state in 2016, after Chad, to be reviewed by the African Peer Review Mechanism.
An APRM Task Force led by Dr. Mustapha Mekideche will consult widely with civil society organizations, government officials, organised labour, private sector, religious communities, women organizations, media and other groups. The Review team is expected to spend more than three weeks of consultative meetings, going to every region in Senegal to ensure concerns and views of ordinary citizens are heard.
Speaking at the launch Dr. Mekideche commended Senegal's bold step of opening itself up for peer review.
“This step is a demonstration of major commitment towards good governance by the Senegal government. It also presents an opportunity for communication between the Senegalese government and its citizenry. I wish to thank the government and the people of Senegal for their continued commitment to sharing their rich history of good governance thus ensuring a better life for its people,' he said.
The APRM Country Review Process Outline
The Country to be reviewed will take necessary steps to prepare for the APR process, especially to prepare the Country Self-Assessment Report and National Programme of Action. Meanwhile the Continental Secretariat prepares a background paper on the country to be reviewed. From these two documents, an Issues Paper is written to guide the Country Review Mission when reviewing the country.
Stage Two, constitutes the Country Review Visit of the APR Team to the country. The country mainly facilitates the Country Review Team, ensuring that the Team is enabled to carry out its review smoothly and with full access to all sources of information and relevant stakeholders.
The APR Team will interact and consult extensively with government officials, parliamentarians, representatives of political parties, the business community, representatives of civil society (including media, academia, trade unions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community-based organisations (CBOs)), rural communities and representatives of international organizations and all stakeholders in the country.
This Stage involves the preparation of the APR Team's report. The Team's report is based in part on the findings of the Country Review Visit as well as on the findings of the research studies of the APR Secretariat prior to the visit. The report should clearly summarize all the findings concisely and analyze their implications for the country's governance and socio-economic development.
The Team's draft Country Review Report is first discussed with the Government of the country. These discussions will be designed to ensure the accuracy of the information and to provide the Government with an opportunity both to react to the accuracy of the information and the Team's findings and to put forward their own recommendations on how to address the identified shortcomings, including modifying the draft Programme of Action. The responses of the Government will be appended to the APR Team's report.
Stage Four begins when the APR Secretariat submits the APR Team's Country Review Report to the APR Panel. The APR Panel meets to review the report in accordance with its mandate and submits its recommendations on the report to the APR Forum. The APR Forum considers the report and the recommendations of the APR Panel to decide what action to take in accordance with its mandate.
Stage Four ends with the Chairperson of the APR Forum communicating the decisions of the Forum to the Head of State or Government of the country being reviewed.
Stage Five involves making public the APRM Report and action on the Country Review. The Final APRM Report, containing all essential elements, is tabled formally and publicly in key regional and sub-regional structures such as the Summit of the African Union, the Pan-African Parliament, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, the Peace and Security Council and the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOC) of the African Union, as well as the Regional Economic Community of the region of which the country reviewed is a member.