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The African Peer Review Forum will meet on 29 January 2014, at the African Union Building, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The 20th Summit of the APR Forum is expected to discuss the Peer Review of Progress Reports on the Implementation of the National Programmes of Action of the following countries, South Africa, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Sierra Leone.
The Summit will also witness the signing of the Accession Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by the presidents of the following countries Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire and, Equatorial Guinea.
Consequently the APRM deems it courteous to outline the APR process.
Once a country has acceded to the APRM, the APR Secretariat will arrange an Advance Mission to the country to discuss and craft a way forward on setting up National Structures such as the Appointment of the Focal Point, National Governing Council, setting up the National Secretariat, and eventual selection of Technical Research Institutes. Once these institutions are in place, the Secretariat organizes a Country Support Mission to assess how effective these institutions in running the APRM process in the country. At the conclusion of the Support Mission, an MOU is signed between the Lead Panel Member and the Head of State on Technical Assessment and Country Review Visit. When the Memorandum of Understanding between the APR Forum and the Government is signed the stage is set for the APR process to start.
The APR process is conceived as a collaborative effort between the participating country and the APRM to improve governance and socio-economic development in the country and in Africa subsequently, their respective roles are outlined as follows:
The Country to be reviewed will take necessary steps to prepare for the APR process, especially to prepare the Country Self-Assessment Report and National Programme of Action. Meanwhile the Continental Secretariat prepares a background paper on the country to be reviewed. From these two documents, an Issues Paper is written to guide the Country Review Mission when reviewing the country.
Stage Two, constitutes the Country Review Visit of the APR Team to the country. The country mainly facilitates the Country Review Team, ensuring that the Team is enabled to carry out its review smoothly and with full access to all sources of information and relevant stakeholders.
The APR Team will interact and consult extensively with government officials, parliamentarians, representatives of political parties, the business community, representatives of civil society (including media, academia, trade unions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community-based organisations (CBOs)), rural communities and representatives of international organizations and all stakeholders in the country.
This Stage involves the preparation of the APR Team’s report. The Team’s report is based in part on the findings of the Country Review Visit as well as on the findings of the research studies of the APR Secretariat prior to the visit. The report should clearly summarize all the findings concisely and analyze their implications for the country’s governance and socio-economic development.
The Team’s draft Country Review Report is first discussed with the Government of the country. These discussions will be designed to ensure the accuracy of the information and to provide the Government with an opportunity both to react to the accuracy of the information and the Team’s findings and to put forward their own recommendations on how to address the identified shortcomings, including modifying the draft Programme of Action. The responses of the Government will be appended to the APR Team’s report.
Stage Four begins when the APR Secretariat submits the APR Team’s Country Review Report to the APR Panel. The APR Panel meets to review the report in accordance with its mandate and submits its recommendations on the report to the APR Forum. The APR Forum considers the report and the recommendations of the APR Panel to decide what action to take in accordance with its mandate.
Stage Four ends with the Chairperson of the APR Forum communicating the decisions of the Forum to the Head of State or Government of the country being reviewed.
Stage Five involves making public the APRM Report and action on the Country Review. The Final APRM Report, containing all essential elements, is tabled formally and publicly in key regional and sub-regional structures such as the Summit of the African Union, the Pan-African Parliament, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Peace and Security Council and the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOC) of the African Union, as well as the Regional Economic Community of the region of which the country reviewed is a member.