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APRM deals decisively with its country reports backlog

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the continent's good governance promotion and self-monitoring initiative, has embarked on a major drive to lessen its backlog of tabling Country Reports to the Pan African Parliament (PAP).

As part of this initiative the APRM this morning (05 May 5, 2016) tabled five Country Reports for discussion at the Ordinary Session of the PAP. The Session was opened on 2 May 2016 in Midrand, South Africa, by Honorable Nkondo Dang, the President of PAP and will end on 18 May 2016.

Professor Eddy Maloka, the CEO of the APRM said the tabling of the reports represented yet another major milestone in the revitalization of the continent-wide initiative.

“We have successfully tabled Country Reports from Nigeria, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Benin and South Africa. The APRM is indeed redeeming itself and advocating for a universal accession of non-members to accede to the Mechanism because its gains are enormous”, Professor Maloka said.

“We further urge the Members of Parliament to demonstrate their commitment to the Mechanism by ensuring that there exists a vibrant and dynamic APRM Process in their respective countries. We acknowledge the important role of PAP in the space of the African governance landscape and the potential role it should play in the successful implementation of the APRM Process in Member Countries”, added Professor Maloka.

Country Reports present for consideration of the Head of State of the country under review a set of recommendations with an attached programme of actions deemed necessary for overcoming identified shortcomings and improving governance, in accordance with the mandate of the APRM.

The presentation of Country Reports at AU Organs is a statutory mandate for the APRM as stated in the Base Document — which stipulates that after adoption of reports by the APR Forum, Country Reports should

be disseminated widely. Following the presentations of the Country Reports, Representatives from Nigeria, Mauritius, Benin, Ethiopian and South Africa were given an opportunity to respond and articulate measures that their countries have put in place to implemented recommendations by the APRM Report.

Other milestones in the revitalization of the APRM are increased number of Peer Review Countries and more effective implementation of National Programmes of Action and enhanced APRM's visibility. It has also

facilitated experience-sharing and peer—learning.

Presenting the Country Reports for South Africa and Benin at the PAP session, Lead Panel Member for these countries Honorable Joseph Tsang Mang Kin commended the commitment of the Pan African Parliament to

the APRM. He said the resolution which was induced by the Justice and Human Rights and the Cooperation and International Relations Committees which states that PAP shall ensure that the APRM Process is

allocated sufficient funds in the National Budget is telling of this commitment.

He further urged MPs to adopt the role of APRM Champions in their respective countries and integrate the APRM revitalization strategy in their activities at constituency level.

“This will indeed bring harmony across Africa in the implementation of AU programmes and initiatives”, he said.

The President of the Pan African Parliament H.E Roger Nkodo Dang said the benefits derived from the APRM cannot be over-emphasized. He said in some countries, the APRM findings have highlighted good practices that are worthy of broader dissemination across the continent and drew attention to impending crises that need immediate preventive action, and analyzed virtually all issues of governance that fall somewhere in between.

“In the unfortunate situation where crises already anticipated by APRM reviews were left unaddressed and eventually materialized. H.E added that the APRM recommendations have provided a useful framework for immediate resolution and long-term reform for African Countries.

Background

The APRM was established on 9 March 2003 by the Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC) of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), as an instrument for better governance through self- and peer-review and monitoring. An African instrument voluntarily acceded to by Member States of the African Union, the APRM was envisaged as an important initiative to stimulate NEPAD reforms.

The APRM is mandated to ensure that the policies and practices of participating states conform to the agreed political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards is contained in the Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance of 2002. The adoption of the APRM initiative demonstrated the commitment of African Leaders to place good governance through self-assessment, public participation, peer review and peer learning at the center of their development strategies.

Since its inception, the APRM has made significant progress in terms of the number of countries that have acceded to the Mechanism, the rolling-out of the review exercise, the refining of the review process, as well as the level of participation and engagement of stakeholders. Today, the APRM has a membership of 35 countries that have voluntarily acceded to it. Seventeen of these countries have completed their reviews, while three are currently at advanced stages of the review process and will be tabled at the 27th APR Forum in July 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.