Is African peer review losing momentum?

Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for an extraordinary summit of the African Union before the end of the year to discuss ways to revitalise the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

This is despite other leaders singing the praises of the 12-year-old system of self-assessment on issues of corporate governance and politics and the economy, amid concerns the mechanism was losing steam.

Kenyatta — the vice chairperson of the African Peer Review Forum — was speaking at the opening of the APRM meeting of heads of state on the sidelines of the AU summit under way in Sandton, Johannesburg.

Thirty-five countries on the continent have signed up for peer review, but only 17 have been assessed. Others have signed up, but have failed to cooperate, while others have been assessed but are unwilling to implement recommendations.

Angola and Malawi have signed up for APRM but are yet to submit to review.

‘Rejuvenate’

Kenyatta proposed there be strategies to “rejuvenate the mechanism”.

“If we don’t strengthen the mechanism we will jeopardise the success of our continent,” he said.

Kenyatta said APRM “upholds the continent’s commitment to good governance” and that “the world is watching Africa” in this regard.

“We are the only region in the world that voluntarily agreed to go into self-assessment of member states,” Kenyatta said.

He said while some of the countries already assessed are implementing recommendations, “it’s been almost a decade since pioneer countries have been peer reviewed”.

Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili also stressed the need to “re-energise” the APRM, saying there “should be no room for complacency”.

Mosisili said Africa established the review mechanism because she was “tired of being dictated to on good governance”.

“Today our common goal of deepening democracy and upholding the rule of law is being realised,” he said.

Political instability and unconstitutional rule were now the exception, said Mosisili.

Like other programmes of the AU, the APRM faces financial challenges. Chairperson of the African Peer Review Forum, Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, reminded member states to pay their dues. The last peer review was undertaken two years ago. Johnson-Sirleaf said the $12-million was owed to the APRM by member states.

When undertaking peer review, the APRM secretariat sends a team to asses a country and then makes recommendations. States are also encouraged to submit reports to the secretariat.

At this AU summit, Benin, Uganda and Sierra Leone are expected to present their annual progress reports on implementing APRM recommendations.

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Mmanaledi Mataboge
Guest Author
Advertisting

Test backlog skews SA’s corona stats

With thousands of samples still waiting to be processed, labs are racing to ramp up testing to help the government gain a better idea of how prevalent Covid-19 really is

M&G’s latest Covid-19 projections

Covid-19 numbers are prompting disaster declarations and dramatic action across South Africa this week. All steps should be directed by numbers

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories