May 2019, Gaborone, Botswana – The APRM was invited by the Government of Botswana to conduct a sensitization workshop on the Country Review Process.
The Republic of Botswana joined the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) on the 8th February 2019 as the 38th Member State and is gearing up for the APRM base country review process. Consequently the country hosted the APRM Sensitization Mission under the leadership of Professor IBRAHIM GAMBARI, Chairperson of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons, from the 13 – 14 May 2019.
In addition, the APRM delegation was composed of APR Panel of Eminent Persons, Hon. Brigitte Mabandla, Head of Research, Methodology and Development Dr. McBride Nkhalamba and Mr. Hugues Manzila. The mission kickstarted with a courtesy visit to the President of the Republic of Botswana H.E Dr. Mokgweetsi MASISI, who emphasized Botswana’s readiness to undertake the APRM process where Botswana could learn from the continent and reenergise its cohesion to its African peers. His Excellency MASISI further mentioned the value addition the Republic of Botswana could equally bring as a contribution to the rest of the African continent, especially within the development of legislative frameworks for the extractive industry. He further noted that while Botswana practised good governance, there was always room for growth and improvement, and that as Africans, we need to be in control of our own narratives and documentation of cultures.
The sensitization workshop was conducted under the umbrella of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration which gathered key government stakeholders from diverse spheres of Botswana’s public structures such as the National Strategic Office, the Ministry of Justice & Defence, the Ministry of Environment, Ombudsman representatives, the Department of monitoring the management of SOEs and Privatisation, the Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis, and the ministry of finance and economic development to name a few.
The objective of the mission was to sensitize the major layers of the Botswana Government in order to provide a clear picture of the mandate of the African Peer Review Mechanism, an organ of the African Union, in terms of its strategic objectives, and its structures, both at country level and continental level. Additionally, the various discussions included the identification and the inclusiveness of key stakeholders within the country review process, spanning from the private sector, civil society and government institutions, in the establishment of national structures such as the Focal Point, National Governing Council and National Secretariat. The mission consultations provided a detailed foundation of the implementation of Country Review Process, which will culminate with the National Plan of Action that ought to find harmonisation and synergy with the Botswana National Development plan. Furthermore, the mission consultations provided a clear picture of the value addition of the APRM Process in providing home-grown solutions to African challenges by Africans and for Africans.
The mission concluded on the 15th of May 2019, and was marked with the strong commitment on behalf of the Government of Botswana in order to capitalise on the momentum built, to be an active Member State within the African Peer Review Mechanism, said Hon. Nonofo Molefhi, Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration. As a way forward, the APRM Secretariat will be closely working with the Government of Botswana in order to prepare for an advance mission which will aim to provide detailed insight on the establishment of the national structures: Focal Point, National Governing Council, and APRM National Secretariat; in terms of their compositions, technical and budgetary implications. It will also include the preparation of a support mission which will target a broad sensitization of stakeholders (Private sector, TRIs, Civil society, etc), and determine the roadmap of the Country Review Mission.
Liziwe Selana (Head of Communications APRM)