25 November 2019, Cotonou, Benin. The APRM Continental Secretariat CEO, Professor Eddy MALOKA conducted fruitful consultations with the Benin National Authorities in Cotonou, the capital city.
The objectives of the consultative mission were to: (i) discuss with the Focal Point of Benin, the possibilities for the country to present its consolidated Progress report, the synthesis of Progress reports of 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 on the implementation of the National Plan of Action that had never been presented, during the forthcoming February 2020 forum of Heads of State and Government, and (ii) submit for discussion and approval the APRM proposed roadmap leading Benin to the second generation of review in 2020.
In his introductory remarks, the Director for Africa and Middle East and APRM Benin Executive Secretary of the National Secretariat, M. Erick Jean-Mary Zinsou, welcomed and thanked the APRM continental Delegation who came to assist Benin in their preparations for the process leading the country’s second-generation review.
In his speech, Professor Maloka expressed his joy to be in Benin and said that over the past ten years, the APRM Benin has played a remarkable contribution to the influence of APRM in the sub-region. He recalled that Benin acceded to the Mechanism on 31 March 2004 and its evaluation report was reviewed by peers on 30 January 2008. Professor Maloka added:
“it is fitting for us to mention that Benin had distinguished itself by its regular participation in all our statutory meetings and Forums of Heads of State and Government”.
The APRM CEO further stated that Benin had been able to guide the West African states acceding the Mechanism namely Djibouti and Chad, and had always positively responded to the numerous requests for assistance from sister National Governance Commissions of Senegal, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire.
Finally, the CEO commended the great work of Benin in drafting seven progress reports on the implementation of the NPOA but observed that those of 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 had never been presented before His Peers by the Head of State of the country as per the APRM rules and regulations require.
In his welcome remarks and on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and APRM Focal Point Mr. William Comlan, Director of cabinet, underscored his appreciation to the Mission and emphasized that Benin is fully committed to good governance and reminded the APRM delegation that the Presidential programme had put good governance on the top of the political agenda. The Director further explained that since the President of the Republic of Benin, His Excellency Patrice Talon, took over the reins of power, he undertook the reorganization of the political and economic environment and the fight against corruption and appointed a four-member Transitional Committee assigned to lead the work to revive MAEP, whose level of activity had dramatically dropped over the past four years.The country representatives were also informed of the on-going activities at the continental level. Mentioned was the APRM integration into the AU budget and that Member States which are in arrears are encouraged to settle these by paying them into the APRM’s bank account.
With regards to substantive matters, the CEO informed the Authorities that two targeted reviews missions on mineral resources and tourism are underway since 11 November 2019 in Zambia while Namibia is planned to embark in a targeted review in December 2019 on the youth unemployment. He indicated that two country review missions in Egypt and Niger are scheduled in December 2019 and that for the first time, national structures are recognised in the APRM structures. Professor Maloka had ended his briefing session by informing that a forum on gender is currently taking place in Kigali from 25 to 27 November 2019. This session arose a lot of enthusiastic comments from the participants.
Professor Emmanuel Pasteur Akpo, a former member of the NGC whose mandate expired since 2015, presented an overview on APRM Benin with key facts and shared ten best practices and some lessons learned from the challenges encountered by the NGC during the APRM process. He concluded his presentation by recommending the Government of Benin to institutionalise the APRM in the Finance Law.
Dr. Messan Koffi Adorgloh, the Coordinator for Benin, invited to present the APRM Secretariat draft roadmap leading Benin to the second generation of review in 2020, stressed the criticality of the implementation of the national structures. He encouraged the national authorities to renew the mandate of the APRM Benin National Governance Council and appoint its members as soon as possible, the aim being for this structure to quick start the assessment of the implementation of the NPOA. Dr. Adorgloh stated that this activity is a crucial milestone in the process of the second generation of review and then had exposed the phases of the proposed roadmap with its associated chronogram for the country. Both parties agreed that the review of second generation for Benin will be taking place in October 2020 and the peer review of the report by the Heads of State and Government scheduled during the forum of February 2021.
The last agenda item of the meeting related to the possible presentation of the consolidated progress report (2012 – 2015) by Benin during the APR forum of Heads of State and Government of February 2020 in Addis Ababa. On the matter, the CEO kindly requested the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Focal Point to send the APRM continental Secretariat a letter of confirmation or not of their presentation of the report during the forthcoming forum.
Professor Maloka and delegation paid a courtesy visit to Mrs Ginette Mondongou Camara, the Resident Representative of UNDP Benin. He informed her on the objectives of his consultative mission to Benin and the decision by Benin to undergo its second generation of review in 2020 and had seized the opportunity to request UNDP’s technical and financial support for the country during the forthcoming exercise. In her speech, Madam Mondongou Camara expressed her joy to meet with the APRM Secretariat CEO and delegation. With regards to the support requested by the CEO, she said that UNDP will be pleased to provide the necessary assistance Benin would need since the training of the new NGC members, the national methodology workshop, the exercise of self-assessment of governance and the country review mission in the field. Mrs Camara concluded that UNDP remains committed to support the Republic of Benin in its efforts to promote good governance.
Main outcomes of the consultative mission in Benin
- The roadmap leading to the second generation of review for Benin is adopted by both parties. The CRM of Benin will take place in October 2020 and the peer review of the report by the Heads of State and Government during the forum of February 2021.
- A training session for the newly appointed NGC members is planned for early February 2020.
- A technical workshop on second generation of review methodology is scheduled for April 2020.
- The acceptance by Benin to send the CEO a Letter confirming or not its presentation of the consolidated progress report on the implementation of NPOA during the forthcoming forum of Head and Government in February 2020 in Addis Ababa.
- Benin’s commitment to fully pay its arrears to the APRM.
For inquiries please contact: Liziwe Selana (Head of Communications APRM)