13 years ago, on the 9th of March 2003, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), a self-monitoring instrument of governance, was established by participating member states of the African Union (AU) in the framework of the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
From the day it was established, the APRM set out to promote more effective governance across four thematic areas: Democracy and Political Governance, Corporate Governance, Economic Governance and Management, and Socio-economic Development.
This year, to mark APRM Day, a panel discussion was held on the 26th of February in collaboration with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC Pretoria) at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Sandton. The event sought not only to commemorate our achievements as a continent but also to delve into serious issues about the state of governance in African countries today and to come up with strategies to address challenges as well as strengthen the Mechanism and ultimately our continent. The event comes at a time when we have seen the launch of important reports, such as the UNDP’s Human Development Report, and when several African countries are and will be taking part in national elections in 2016.
The event involved representatives from various African countries, including the Ambassadors from Côte D’ivoire, Senegal, Chad, Kenya, the DRC and Djibouti. Several of these ambassadors engaged in a panel discussion around the theme of “Restoration, Reinvigoration, and Renewal of the APRM”.
Professor Eddie Maloka, CEO of APRM discussed the importance of the APRM engagement with civil society and highlighted the importance that governance in African countries have on civil society. “If we talk about APRM, don’t forget about civil society. They are the most important in our work. They are the back bone of our countries.” He said.
Dr. Mustapha Mekideche, Chairperson of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons, reiterated the fact that reports of good governance in Africa cannot only be theoretical but must be put into practice. He also stressed the issue of Africans being proactive in tackling their own problems. “It is not enough to establish reports we have to implement national plans of actions”, he said.