Midrand, 17 October 2017 -The African Peer Review Mechanism’s (APRM) team led by Mr. McBride Nkhalamba, have participated at the commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The event was organised and hosted by the Southern Africa Trust in Midrand, under the theme “Answering the call of October 17 to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive societies”
The event was marked by different presentations on the work of the Southern Africa Trust and its various partners including the APRM.
On behalf of the Southern Africa Trust, (The Trust) Mr Marlon Zakeyo welcomed the guests and gave an overview on the state of poverty inequality in the SADC region. He also highlighted the importance of establishing partnerships for combating poverty ineqaulity. Mr. Ulrich Klins, indicated that the Trust works with Civil Society Organisations that represent minority and vulnerable groups such as women, youth, ex-miners, trans-border traders, farmers and the marginalised. He explained that the work of the Trust is based on research, to support and capacitate the CSOs but most importantly, the Trust strives for an integrated Africa, an Africa without inequalities where big and small, minority groups are active and have a say in the policies and practices.
Speaking on behalf of the APRM, Mr. Nkhalamba provided a comprehensive overview of the Mechanism. He highlighted that APRM was established by Heads of States and Governments in 2003 as a voluntary organisation to look into the issues of governance on the continent. Its mandate is to review governments and indicate to them the governance issues in the four thematic areas, i.e. Democratic and Political governance, corporate governance, Economic governance and management and the Social economic development. He underlined the uniqueness of the Mechanism as a voluntary and, independent organisation with processes primarily based on the Country self-assessment report which is undertaken and produced by the member country. APRM is a unique tool that enables it to reach all the different levels of government, the grassroot, up to the Heads of States, and thus has been given an additional mandate by the SADC Secretariat to monitor the implementation of regional commitments in SADC member states. He explained that the nexus between the APRM and the Trust is intertwined and has engendered a strong partnership to eradicate poverty through the advancement of the adoption of good public policies with a serious engagement of the Civil Society Organisations. Mr. McBride wrapped up his presentation calling everyone present, especially the APRM partners to advocate for the universal accession to the APRM, a campaign that is scheduled for 2018.
Also present on the day was Dr Showers Mawowa from The Southern Africa Liaison Office (SALO). He spoke on the work that they do at SALO which includes building a network of key strategic thinkers, state and non-state across national boundaries, and facilitating long-term relationships within this network; creating safe spaces for state and non-state role players to engage regularly; and finding common ground between regional and international governments, and between national stakeholders.