Johannesburg, South Africa. The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has committed to a partnership with the Panel of Eminent Persons of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), which will see PAP allocate a day during each of its upcoming Sessions to analyse and debate reports from reviewed countries and ensure that national plans of actions are implemented.
The arrangement will start during PAP’s next Session which takes place in October. PAP’s commitment came in response to a request by Professor Amos Sawyer, Chairperson of the APRM’s Panel of Eminent Persons and former President of Liberia. In his presentation at Wednesday’s session, Professor Sawyer called for the setting-up of an APRM Committee within PAP tasked with discussing APRM reports and their implementation in details.
“We cannot overstate the achievements of the APRM nor the significant progress made in the number of countries that have undertaken a review,” said Professor Sawyer. “However, we believe that regular engagement should take place in a structured way to help advance the implementation of the APRM in member countries of the African Union.”
Professor Sawyer said that countries that had completed reviews faced difficulties in implementing national plans of action due to the fact that they were not catered for in countries national budgets.
“Gaining access to the network of Pan-African Parliamentarians will thus play a key role in ensuring that PAP MPs would push for the inclusions of budget provisions for the implementing of national action plans,” he said.
“Opportunities exist to disseminate information on the APRM in African countries to allow Africans to gain bigger control of the APRM mechanism.”
Now 10 years in its existence, the APRM has seen 33 African countries voluntarily join the review process, with Chad and Tunisia being the latest to adhere to it. Countries, such as Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, which have already undertaken a review and are currently implementing their national action plans have applied for a second review.
Professor Sawyer has also disclosed that Asian and South American countries have engaged with the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons as some among those two groups envisage similar peer review processes.
The African Peer Review Mechanism is a mutually agreed programme, voluntarily adopted by the Member States of the African Union, to promote and re-enforce high standards of governance. The peer review mechanism is a self-monitoring mechanism. APRM’s mandate is to ensure that the policies and practices of participating countries conform to the agreed values in the following four focus areas: democracy and political governance, economic governance, corporate governance and socio-economic development.
As part of the APRM, there are periodic reviews of the participating countries to assess progress being made towards achieving the mutually agreed goals.
Final editing by Issa Sikiti da Silva.
Photo: AP President Hon Amadi (l) and APRM chair Prof Sawyer