Cyril Ramaphosa assumed the chair of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) on Saturday, 8 February 2020. The APRM is a governance monitoring and improvement initiative that grew out of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad). The APRM has been applauded for the diagnostic quality of the reviews, although the lack of follow up and the failure of African countries to act on it have been criticised.
Participating countries agree to conduct inclusive and comprehensive reviews of their own governance, and are then subjected to a review by a panel of experts from around the continent, as well as by a convocation of heads of state. Governance deficiencies are identified, and countries pledge to address them, with their peer countries holding them to these commitments.
Ramaphosa praised the ‘It is a vehicle for advancing unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity. In the end, the APRM must be seen for what it is. It is a driver for change.’ President Ramaphosa promised that the APRM would focus on ensuring that recommendations were put into practice.
‘Recommendations are key in achieving the much-needed impact on our continent. Unless they are executed, the reviews will not translate into tangible action on country level,’ he said.
New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is a socio-economic flagship Programme of the African Union (AU). NEPAD’s four primary objectives are to eradicate poverty, promote sustainable growth and development, integrate Africa in the world economy and accelerate the empowerment of women.
There are currently just over 40 programmes and projects that the NEPAD Agency is implementing. The NEPAD Agency, now with a footprint in 53 out of the 55 African Union Member States, has adopted a results-based approach and aligned its interventions to the First Ten Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063.
(just watch the poverty in our neighbouring countries – food in Zimbabwe.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
The Africa Solidarity Trust Fund (ASTF) is an innovative Africa-led fund to support African development initiatives. Its main goal is to strengthen food security across the continent by assisting countries and their regional organizations to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, eliminate rural poverty and manage natural resources in a sustainable manner.
The pledges were made at a high-level donor round table convened by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, on the sidelines of the African Development Bank’s 2019 Annual Meetings currently underway in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is a socio-economic flagship Programme of the African Union (AU). NEPAD’s four primary objectives are to eradicate poverty, promote sustainable growth and development, integrate Africa in the world economy and accelerate the empowerment of women.
NEPAD facilitates and coordinates the development of continent-wide programmes and projects, mobilises resources and engages the global community, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and member states in the implementation of these programmes and projects. The NEPAD Agency replaced the NEPAD Secretariat in 2010 which had coordinated the implementation of NEPAD programmes and projects since 2001.
The strategic direction of the NEPAD Agency is divided into six themes:
- Agriculture and Food Security
- Climate Change and Natural Resource Management
- Regional Integration and Infrastructure
- Human Development
- Economic and Corporate Governance
- Cross-Cutting Issues – Gender, ICT, Capacity Development and Communications
AfriForum has taken note with concern and disappointment of the cancellation of an extraordinary summit of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) that would have taken place in Kenya this month. The summit was cancelled at the eleventh hour and delegates from 35 countries had to change their travel arrangements.
The APRM was established in 2003 after the members of the African Union had agreed that such a voluntary peer review mechanism was essential. Its mandate is to establish common political, economic and corporate governance values and standards among African countries and to set objectives regarding the continent’s socio-economic development. It is as tructure by means of which African governments can be held accountable by their peers and civil society.
A South African highlight was the launch of the first APRM report by South African civil society organizations(of which AfriForum was also part) in 2011. The report voiced criticism regarding the South African government’s handling of issues such as media freedom; corruption; the separation between the interests of the state and the ruling party; cadre deployment and xenophobia.
According to Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO of AfriForum responsible for international liaison, the cancellation of the summit is disappointing because it was hoped that itwould have served to revive the APRM’s operations, thereby encouraging governments to act with more accountability towardscivil society.
“At this stage, no alternative date for the summit has been announced. Meanwhile the APRM is struggling ahead, burdened by a lack of funding. Apparently noparticipating country has submitted a second report yet either. It seems to be yet another positive African initiative that has run aground due to African governments’ lack of accountability and political will to act in the interests of civil society,” shesaid.
AfriForum supports a statement issued by several civil society organizations that calls for a summit to be held in order that key positions in the APRM can be filled; countriesin arrears with payment of membership fees, should pay; governments should be refamiliarized with the functions and significance of the APRM; overdue reports should be submitted; more space should be created for civil society organizations to participate in the activities of the APRM; and to ensure that recommendations of the APRM should continuously form a partof debates at the highest levels of government in Africa.
“As civil society organization, it is of key importance for AfriForum that our community should have a sustainable, safe, free and prosperous future here. Strong national and international institutions that hold governments accountable, is one way in which thiscan be ensured and thus it is of the greatest importance that institutions such as the APRM should succeed and thrive,” she added.
AFRIFORUM / FW DE KLERK FOUNDATION INVOLVED
Participants in the South African AMP process were involved at three main levels, namely agreeing to be interviewed; making research available; and actively writing a section of the AMP–SA Report. Small working groups, co-ordinated by a member
of the AMP project team, were developed for each of the three major issue areas. The project team acknowledges and thanks representatives from the following organisations for writing sections of this report:
• Arid Areas Programme, University of the Free
• Community Law Centre, University of the
• Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA)
• Democratic Governance and Rights Unit
(DGRU), University of Cape Town
• FW de Klerk Foundation
• Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa)
• Institute for Security Studies (ISS)
• Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC)
• Public Service Accountability Monitor
• South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF)
• Independent researchers
The APRM Monitoring Project is funded by
G E O R G E S O R O S
• Open Society Foundation for South Africa
• Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa
• Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Project