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Legislators raise concern as only 38 out of 55 AU member states accede to APRM

Mxolisi Ncube

JOHANNESBURG – Legislators attending the Pan-African Parliament this week challenged countries that are yet to accede to African Peer Review Mechanism to do so, arguing that would help in the production, popularisation and dissemination of the African Government Report.

Widely regarded Africa’s self-assessment for good governance, the APRM is specialized agency of the African Union. It was initiated in 2002 and established in 2003 by the African Union in the framework of the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development -NEPAD.

The APRM is a tool for sharing experiences, reinforcing best practices, identifying deficiencies, and assessing capacity-building needs to foster policies, standards and practices that lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration.

Member countries within the APRM undertake self-monitoring in all aspects of their governance and socio-economic development. AU stakeholders participate in the self-assessment of all branches of government – executive, legislative and judicial – as well as the private sector, civil society and the media. The APRM Review Process gives member states a space for national dialogue on governance and socio-economic indicators and an opportunity to build consensus on the way forward.

Debating on the African Government Report delivered by APRM during the 2nd session of the 5th Pan-African Parliament currently underway in Midrand, Johannesburg the MPs undertook to find out the concerns of those countries that have delayed their commitment to the APRM, as they seek the compliance of all 55 member states of the African Union.

“It is upon us to find out why other countries haven’t acceded to APRM,” said Professor Ogenga-Latigo Morris Wodamida of Uganda. “As Members of Parliament, we need to lobby our respective countries so that it becomes easy to produce, popularise and disseminate the African Government Report.”

Of the 55 countries in the continent, only 38 have acceded to APRM. The African Government Report is under the ambit of APRM and is commissioned by the African Union. It is supplementary/complementary to the voluntary (and on demand) APRM country self-assessments and focuses on democracy, economic and political governance and management, socio-economic development and corporate governance. The APRM seeks to provide regular periodic, continuous assessment of selected governance areas.

The MPs accused the Bureau of bad governance, saying it was a reflection of what the African society had become.

“Good governance is a fundamental problem in Africa. What is happening at Pan-African Parliament is also a reflection of bad governance that is inherent,” said Toussaint Manga of Senegal. “We as leaders we need to change so as to be exemplary to everyone. People are running away from Africa, it’s not because they love touring the world, rather it is because they are running away from bad governance and fossilised type of leaderships.”

Manga said MPs should work with APRM so that countries could accept and implement the recommendations as per their prescription.

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