1.BackgroundThe African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is Africa’s most innovative and ambitious initiative on governance, launched in 2003 by Member States of the African Union who accede voluntarily, for self- and peer-assessment of national governance policies and practices.The APRM was founded at the time of transition from the Organisation of African Unity to the African Union, at the beginning of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, which have since expired. The AU is now a fully matured institutional body, with most of its organs fully operationalised. The Sustainable Development Goals have since replaced the MDGs, and the AU has now developed a 50-year plan for Africa’s renaissance known as Agenda 2063. The African Union has observed that participation and inclusion of all stakeholders in the implementation and monitoring and evaluation of Agenda 2063 is one of the building blocks of for the success of the Agenda.
The APRM has evolved together with the AU and is guided by the African Union Shared Values as endorsed by the 14th Session of the AU Assembly in January 2011. These values include a Pan-African Architecture on Governance (AGA), and a commitment to AU Shared Values including Governance, Democracy, Elections, Human Rights, Humanitarian Issues, Civil Society participation and Gender Equality. The APRM is able to make an invaluable contribution to the implementation of Agenda 2063 through its inclusive processes and capability to mobilise its vast network for input from the public and many levels of government. Several Agenda 2063 goals are central to the mandate of the APRM, including aspirational goal three, which seeks “an Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law.”
Informed by the AU Shared Values, the APRM has, as its core mission, the deepening of democratic practices through, inter alia, review of national policies and practices against established standards of good governance, identification of deficiencies as well as best practices, and development of tools and methods by which the deficiencies would be rectified and the best practices disseminated and replicated across the Continent. The work of the APRM also leads to better service delivery, as good public service delivery enables accountability of public and private sector officials to citizens.
The benefits of the APRM cannot be overemphasized: it has opened up the political space for citizen participation in policy debates, fostered national dialogue, stimulated scholarship, and increased advocacy for good governance and better service delivery. The implementation of the APRM National Program of Action, (NPoA) which emanates from the review exercise is very central to APRM. The primary purpose of the NPoA is to guide and mobilise the country’s efforts in implementing the necessary changes to improve its state of governance, thereby creating conditions for high economic growth, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty. It identifies countries priorities, activities and responsibilities of various stakeholders in government, civil society, and the private sector in implementing the programme.
Over the past 18 years, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) has made a huge contribution on youth development through its governance reporting mandate that additionally includes the sharing and promoting of good governance practices as well as putting young people at the core of its mandate.
As the APRM marks its 18th Anniversary in 2021, it is important to maximize on the achievements gained thus far and ensure implementation and popularisation of the road towards Universal Accession of the Mechanism. In commemorating 18 years of APRM existence, two events will be organized, and the main focus with the specific focus on Youth and the diaspora.
In July 2019, the APRM held its first-ever youth symposium on the role of youth, challenges and possible solutions in promoting governance in Africa. The youth symposium was held in Ndjamena, the Republic of Chad which marked an essential step in awareness of the governance challenges faced by African youth.
In order for the APRM to mainstream youth into its governance processes, The APRM launched the APRM Youth Network as part of the outcome of the youth declaration from the N’Djamena 1st International Youth Symposium.
In November 2020 the APRM in partnership with the Centre for Global Africa (CGA) in the Delaware State University to promote the African Union Sixth region as well as Africa-Diaspora initiatives to accelerate the African Union Agenda 2063 while advancing diaspora interest in pursuing both the Africa We Want and the 6th Region We Want.
3.Objectives of the 18th Anniversary
As the APRM reaches this important milestone, the Commemoration of its 18th Anniversary Virtual celebration, is to raise public awareness and understanding of the APRM as the premier African instrument for the promotion of good governance and highlight the involvement of Youth in Governance. It will also help to showcase the global footprint in embracing African citizens in diaspora while celebrating the achievements made and the 2021 trajectory towards universal accession by 2023.
In this year commemoration in line with the African Union theme of the year 2021 on Arts, Culture and Heritage: levers for building the Africa We Want, we will highlight some of the role played by the Culture and Creative Industries as a driver for Africa’s economy from film, theatre, music, gaming, fashion, literature and art.
In celebrating the Africa Day 2020, the African Union in partnership with Trace TV and All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) organised a Virtual Solidarity Concert with artist on the continent and in the diaspora to support the response to the pandemic in their communities and across the region. Leveraging on that we hope the 2021 APRM celebration will have a segment to showcase our African heritage and culture as well as promoting the cultural and heritage to the diaspora counterparts. The 18th Anniversary Celebrations will further seek to showcase the APRM Successes and Africa Diaspora Opportunities will promoting YOUTH Governance as a conduit to the future of a better Africa.
Virtual celebration attended by the public including the APRM National Secretariat, Partners, Youth & CSOs and youth in diaspora.
- The APRM will encourage the public to share videos , photos, voice clips to be played during the virtual event. We aim that participants will share their contribution using the expression of art, poems, songs (voice clips), cultural video dance, sing APRM praise in their native language and any form of heritage expression.
- Videos and pictures to be posted on all APRM social media platforms.
- Online celebration with the Center for Global Africa (CGA): March 2021: the celebration will be a history briefing of the work of APRM. The CGA will invite student from Delaware University to attend the celebration and learn about APRM and the Youth engagement in Governance.