Communique issued at the end of the Special Summit of Heads of State and Government participating in the African Peer Review Mechanism [APR Forum]
The Special Summit of the Committee of Heads of State and Government Participating in the African Peer Review Mechanism [APR Forum] was held on 29 January 2016 at the New Conference Centre, African Union Headquarters, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, Chairperson of the APR Forum, presided at the Summit.
The following Heads of State and Government attended the Summit:
(i) H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya and Chairperson of the APR Forum;
(ii) H.E. Alassane Dramane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire;
(iii) H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti;
(iv) H.E. Hailemarian Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Republic of Ethiopia;
(v) H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia;
(vi) H.E. Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique;
(vii) H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda;
(viii) H.E. Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa;
(ix) H.E. Edgar Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia;
(x) H.E. Abdelmalek Sellal, Prime Minister of the Republic of Algeria
Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia and Uganda were represented at the Summit by National Focal Points of the APRM, Ministers, Officials and Heads of Delegations.
H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, stood in for H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC).
The following members of the Panel of Eminent Persons (APR Panel) attended the Summit: Dr Mustapha Mekideche (Chairperson), Professor Mahamoud Youssouf Khayal (Vice-Chairperson), Ambassador Fatuma Ndangiza, Ambassador Ashraf Rashed, Honourable Joseph Tsang Mang Kin, Professor Al-Amin Abu Manga and Honourable Brigitte Sylvia Mabandla.
H.E. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank attended the Summit. Other Strategic Partner institutions represented included UNDP, ECA, and UNOSAA.
The Interim Chief Executive Officer of the APRM Secretariat, Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, and Staff from the APRM Continental and Kenya Secretariats, were also in attendance.
The Summit commenced with Statements by Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, H.E. Erastus Mwencha, and Dr Mustapha Mekideche, as well as Opening Remarks by H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Dr Mayaki’s presentation focused, among others, on the efforts he made towards stabilising the APR Secretariat’s finances, and forging constructive working relationships between APRM and AU Structures, and with the Strategic Partners. He announced a bright future for the Mechanism, thanks to the positive trends observed in Member State contributions, the establishment of a Knowledge Management and Communications Strategy, and the confidence reposed in the Mechanism which is expected to play a pivotal role in the implementation of the governance aspects of AU Agenda 2063 and 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
H.E. Erastus Mwencha acknowledged the important role that APRM has been playing in the governance landscape on the Continent. The success of Agenda 2063 will be determined by its domestication, where the APRM is poised to make a difference in serving as a primary instrument for its monitoring.
Dr Mekideche summarised the Panel’s priorities for its 2016 Work Plan featuring reviews of Chad, Senegal, Sudan and Cote d’Ivoire. He recommended efforts to strengthen the capacity of the Secretariat, and greater collaboration between the APR Panel and the Committee of Focal Points.
President Uhuru Kenyatta recalled trends in the APRM Country Review processes, and highlighted challenges facing the organisation that have impacted the vitality, visibility and success of the Mechanism. He reiterated the importance of the APRM as a unique apparatus to examine all sectors of governance. He called upon Member States to reaffirm the values and principles of the APRM, pay their contributions to sustain the Mechanism, He encouraged non-participating AU Member States to accede to the Mechanism.
Presentation on “Revitalisation of the APRM - An Overview”, by H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya and Chairperson of the APR Forum
H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta recalled the dwindling financial capacity of the Mechanism that could compromise African ownership of the Mechanism. He alerted participants to the waning enthusiasm and commitment vis-à-vis the APRM process, and the concomitant slowdown in the review process. President Kenyatta called for renewed commitment to the APRM by the Member States to enable the Mechanism to fulfil the mandate conferred on it by the founding fathers. He recommended the repositioning of the APRM so that it plays a central role in the implementation of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Presentation on “Integration of the APRM into the African Union”, by H.E. Jacob ZUMA, President of the Republic of South Africa
President Zuma acknowledged the relevance of APRM and emphasised that good governance is more relevant today than ever before globally. In consequence, APRM integration into the African Union should be accomplished in a manner that does not compromise the autonomy and integrity of the Mechanism.
Secondly, in view of the new policy discourse and the political and economic environment of the APRM, it is imperative to revive the Mechanism, using the possibilities afforded by the AU Agenda 2063, and the Common African Position on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Presentation on “Revisiting the Philosophy of the APRM”, by H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda
President Kagame presented a historical background to the formation of the APRM fifteen years ago. He emphasised that the APRM should foster dynamic practices aimed at improving governance, while correcting shortcomings in the conduct of the reviews. There is a tendency to limit governance reviews to a narrow definition of what constitutes a democratic process, and to underrate the potential for local solutions in taking as a normative view that governance solutions for Africans must necessarily come from elsewhere. While the ideals that led to the formation of the APRM are as relevant now as they were in 2003, a reappraisal after so many years is timely.
H.E. President Kagame summarised options on the way forward for the APRM, including integrating the Mechanism into the AU as an autonomous entity.
In his opinion, democracy, good governance and socio-economic transformation cannot be contracted to external parties, and this philosophy remains at the core of the APRM.
Presentation on “Role of the APRM in monitoring AU Agenda 2063 and the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, by H.E Alassane OUATTARA, President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire
In his presentation, President Ouattara argued that Africa has made enormous progress over the past ten years, recording high economic growth rates and improved service delivery. Cote d’Ivoire has also witnessed improvements since 2012, with an average growth rate of 9 per cent from 2012 to 2015. Cote d’Ivoire joined the APRM in January 2015 to consolidate these gains.
President Ouattara urged all AU countries to join the Mechanism and contribute to the achievement of the socio-economic objectives of Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.
Presentation on “Resource Mobilisation for the APRM”, by H.E Filipe NYUSI, President of the Republic of Mozambique
President Nyusi observed that the Forum needed to translate political will into concrete contributions to sustain the Continental Mechanism. He observed that the APRM should establish a moratorium for payment of Member States’ arrears. He called for an increase in the number of participating countries in the APRM. He called for a speedy integration of the APRM into the AU, as this would ensure rationalisation and prevent duplication of resources.
The President remarked that the Mechanism is a dynamic and fully capable institution governed by principles such as accountability, transparency, inclusiveness and peer learning, and is worth preserving.
Presentation on “Ensuring Compliance with APRM principles” by the Republic of Chad
]President Idris Deby’s presentation, as transmitted by the Focal Point for Chad, highlighted the guiding principles of the Continental Mechanism including voluntary membership.
The Focal Point stressed the need to mainstream the APRM National Programme of Action into the National Development Plan.
Ethiopia, Uganda, Lesotho, Zambia, Senegal, Sudan, Liberia, Nigeria and Burkina Faso made contributions to the debate, including the need to made firm decisions on each topic. In response, the Chairperson of the Forum requested that a small team consisting of Focal Points make recommendations on revitalisation for consideration by the Forum at the next Summit.
Conduct of the Peer Review of Djibouti
H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti, briefed his peers on developments in the four thematic areas of the APRM.
The APR Forum congratulated President Guelleh on the review of Djibouti and his commitment to the APRM process. The Forum agreed, as a result of time constraints, to conduct a comprehensive peer review of Djibouti at the next Summit of the APR Forum,
Progress Report on the Administrative & Financial Matters of the APRM
The Chairperson of the APRM Committee of Focal Points, Hon. Mwangi Kiunjuri, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Devolution and Planning of Kenya, presented a Progress Report on APRM Administrative and Financial Matters.
He congratulated Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki for his impressive and able stewardship of the APRM during the 18-month interim period.
The Forum approved the APRM Focal Points’ recommendations to:
• appoint Professor Edward Maloka of South Africa as the new Chief Executive Officer of the APRM Secretariat; and
• extend, by one year, the term of office for three members of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons whose four-year tenure had expired, under the provisions of the Operating Procedures of the APRM.
The Report of the Committee of APRM Focal Points was adopted.
In his closing remarks, the Chairperson of the APR Forum thanked Heads of State and Government for attending the Summit.
ISSUED ON 29 JANUARY 2016 IN ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA
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