Posted: June 24, 2015
The 23rd Summit of the Committee of Heads of State and Government Participating in the African Peer Review Mechanism [APR Forum] was held on 13 June 2015 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, Chairperson of the APR Forum, presided at the Summit.
The following Heads of State and Government attended the Summit:
H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia and Chairperson of the APR Forum;
H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya and Vice-Chairperson of the APR Forum;
H.E. Alassane Dramane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire;
H.E. Pakalitha Mosisili, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho;
H.E. Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique;
H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal;
H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone;
H.E. Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa;
H.E. Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda; and
H.E. Abdelmalek Sellal, Prime Minister of the Republic of Algeria.
Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, Republic of Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia were represented at the Summit by National Focal Points of the APRM, Ministers, Officials and Heads of Delegation.
H.E. Aisha Abdullahi, Commissioner for Political Affairs, African Union Commission, attended the Summit on behalf of H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC).
The following members of the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons (APR Panel) attended the Summit: Ambassador Fatuma Ndangiza (Chairperson), Ambassador Ashraf Rashed (Vice-Chairperson), Dr. Mustapha Mekideche, Honourable Joseph Tsang Mang Kin, Professor Al-Amin Abu Manga, Professor Mahamoud Youssouf Khayal and Honourable Brigitte Sylvie Mabandla.
The Interim Chief Executive Officer of the APRM Secretariat, Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, and Staff from the APRM Secretariat, were also in attendance.
The APRM Partner Institutions that attended the Summit included UNDP, ECA, AfDB, UNOSAA and NEPAD Agency.
The Summit was opened with Welcome Remarks by H.E. Jacob Zuma, Opening Remarks by H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and a Statement by H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, in which they reiterated the importance of the African Peer Review Mechanism in promoting good governance in Africa, and the resourceful inputs it is expected to make to the AU Agenda 2063 Programme and the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda.
His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta proposed that the APRM convenes an Extraordinary Summit with Strategic Partners to steer the Mechanism, mobilise resources for effective APRM delivery and raise the profile of the Mechanism as the authoritative governance index for Africa.
President Jacob Zuma announced that South Africa will be signing the APRM Host Country Agreement with the African Union in August 2015.
President Jacob Zuma reiterated H.E. President Kenyatta’s proposal to convene an Extraordinary Summit as soon as possible. He further suggested that this Summit could deliberate on burning issues concerning the APRM, including models for sustainable financing, and cross-cutting issues as well as the ways and means of stabilising the Secretariat.
The Representative of the AUC recalled the mandate and achievements of the APRM and assured the Forum that the process of integrating the Mechanism into the AU System is progressing, as expected, and that the APRM Stakeholders can count on the African Union Commission in creating synergies for the development of Africa.
A moment of silence was observed in memory of Chief (Mrs.) Chinyere E. Asika, the late Member of the Panel of Eminent Persons appointed in January 2015, and of Honourable Collins Chabane, the late APRM Focal Point for South Africa and Minister of Public Service and Administration. The APR Forum expressed its gratitude to both distinguished Africans for their invaluable services to the APRM in their respective countries in particular, and to Africa in general.
The APR Forum also heard statements from newly-elected or re-elected Heads of State and Government:
H.E. Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique and
H.E. Pakalitha Mosisili, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho. Representatives of Nigeria, Sudan and Egypt also delivered statements from their newly elected/re-elected Presidents.
The Presidents pledged their commitment to the APRM and undertook to ensure the smooth functioning of the Mechanism so that it fulfils the continental mandate conferred on the APRM by the Founding Fathers in March 2003.
The APR Forum congratulated the elected/re-elected Presidents and encouraged the other Member Countries preparing for elections to follow suit and come up with successful elections.
H.E. Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, recounted progress in the socio-economic development of his country. He reiterated his country’s commitment to the APRM and confirmed that Côte d’Ivoire had paid its 2015 financial contribution to the APRM and will soon be paying a special additional contribution to the Mechanism.
Presentation on “The Future of the APRM” by Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, Interim CEO of the APRM Secretariat
Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, the Interim CEO of the APRM Secretariat, observed that the APRM is a critical institution for Africa that has the necessary methodological tools to monitor common African goals emanating from Africa’s global commitments.
The APR Forum’s attention was drawn to:
the upcoming Africa Week Event, the Summit Conferences on the AU Agenda 2063 and the United Nations Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals; and
The pivotal role the APRM is expected to play in making resourceful inputs to the events and the need for adequate preparations to that effect.
The APR Forum endorsed the Interim CEO APR Forum endorsed the Interim’s Report.
Progress Report by Ambasador Fatuma Ndangiza, Chairperson of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons
Ambassador Fatuma Ndangiza provided an update on the APRM process with a focus on the work completed since her appointment as Chairperson of the Panel in January 2014.
The Chairperson of the Panel cited the following elements as the Panel’s three key focus areas:
Strengthening the peer review process, including improving APRM institutions,processes and tools, and fast-tracking the implementation of the APRM;
strengthening synergies and partnerships with APRM Strategic Partners, NEPAD, the Regional Economic Communities and other AU Organs and International Organisations; and
Designing and implementing a robust Communication Strategy for public awareness.
The APR Forum was informed that the APRM has launched a new and comprehensive Website and enhanced its social media platforms.
The Chairperson of the APR Panel presented the review-related activities to be completed in the rest of 2015:
Base Review Missions in Djibouti, Senegal, Sudan and Chad;
Preparatory and Support Missions in Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea and Mauritius;
Preparations for the Second Reviews of Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa and Nigeria; and
Completion of the APRM impact assessment in the seventeen reviewed countries.
The APR Forum endorsed the Report presented by the Chairperson of the APR Panel.
Conduct of the Peer Review of Annual Progress Reports on the Implementation of National Programmes of Action (NPOAs)
H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, observed that since May 2014, the Ebola virus disease has abruptly disrupted the economic, social and political progress that Sierra Leone enjoyed in recent years.
President Koroma summarised aspects of the progress Sierra Leone made in implementing its National Programme of Action in 2013-2014. He indicated that the Government has provided adequate and sustainable budgetary support to the APRM National Governing Council and Secretariat, and this explained the timely submission of progress reports by Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone has created a National Constitutional Review Committee and tasked it to revise the 1991 Constitution. Citizens of Sierra Leone will be given the opportunity to make inputs to the revision process. Since 2007, the Government has been promoting a zero tolerance policy on corruption. The Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 was passed in this regard.The Government has also paid keen attention to gender empowerment, with the enactment of several Gender Acts since 2007. Sierra Leone is committed to accountable government, and the public is informed about how the country’s resources are being managed. Public servants working in ministries, departments and agencies, as well as local councils, are required to sign yearly performance contracts.
President Koroma pointed out that, in recent years, Sierra Leone’s ranking in the World Bank’s “Doing Business Index” has improved from 149th position in 2009 to 140th in 2013, out of 183 economies. In the Socio-economic Development sphere, one of the key budget priorities in 2013 was to continue to expand the provision of health services, electricity, sanitation and water to the citizens. The Government is now working on its Post-Ebola Recovery Plan, among other national projects.
President Koroma thanked the countries and institutions as well as individuals that have been supporting Sierra Leone in the fight against Ebola.
The APR Forum congratulated President Koroma on the presentation of Sierra Leone’s Progress Report on the implementation of the NPOA. The Forum also commended the country for the efforts made in combating Ebola, and encouraged the Member Countries to invest more in medical research on epidemics.
Sierra Leone was also commended for its efforts in promoting peace at both national and regional levels.
H.E. Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, recalled that, since its inception twelve years ago, the Mechanism has reviewed 17 countries. He congratulated the Forum on its commitment to this home-grown initiative.
President Museveni presented highlights of the 2013/2014 Progress Report. He observed that the Anti-Corruption Courts successfully completed 76.7 per cent of cases before them in the 2013-2014 reporting period. He stressed the need for mindset change towards corruption in society, and an end to the glorification of the agents of corruption. Uganda has focussed on compliance in harmonising national laws with the COMESA and EAC protocols. Inflation was reduced from a high of 30.6 per cent in 2011 to 2.9 per cent in June 2014. The national economic growth also averaged 4.1 per cent between 2011/12 and 2013/14. President Museveni expressed his support for developing infrastructure, including electricity, roads and railways, reiterating that this is the only way to build a modern state.
Uganda was commended for the consistent efforts made in supporting the work of the National Governing Council, implementing the National Programme of Action (NPOA) and integrating its NPOA into the National Development Plan.
Uganda was also commended for promoting the rights of vulnerable groups, including orphans, women and refugees, and the Forum recommended further efforts from the Government in this regard.
The APR Forum congratulated the Government and People of Uganda on the remarkable achievements recorded in the Progress Report on the implementation of Uganda’s National Programme of Action.
The APR Forum considered as “commendable practice”, the fact that Uganda has managed to meet the Millennium Development Goal of “halving the people living in poverty” before the 2015 deadline.
Progress Report on Administrative and Financial Matters of the APRM
The Chairperson of the APRM Committee of Focal Points, Honourable Amara Konneh, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of Liberia, presented a Progress Report on Administrative and Financial Matters concerning the APRM. He pointed out that several Member States have not fulfilled their contribution obligations and this has had negative impact on the pace and number of review activities taking place. He noted the positive trend now observed in the Member States’ contributions and commended Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki for stabilising APRM finances since his appointment as Interim CEO of the APRM Secretariat.
Minister Konneh confirmed that the APRM Committee of Focal Points had received the concerns regarding staff contracts, and assured the Forum that he would be working with the Interim CEO and the Focal Points Ad hoc Committee on Recruitment to address the challenges.
Key Resolutions of the APR Forum
The Chairperson of the APR Forum commended all the Member States that have paid their contributions, and particularly, the countries that have made special contributions to the APRM. She urged the Member States to pay up their financial contributions to the APRM in order to strengthen the spirit of African ownership of the Mechanism, and enable the Panel of Eminent Persons to fully implement the 2015 APRM Work Programme.
The APR Forum approved the holding of an Extraordinary Summit of the APR Forum in the First Week of September 2015 to:
Discuss the future of the APRM and its role in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, which are due for approval by the UN General Assembly in September 2015;Agree on models for sustainable funding of the APRM; and discuss cross-cutting issues and the backlog of Progress Reports on Implementation of APRM National Programmes of Action.
To ensure stability at the Secretariat, the APR Forum endorsed the APRM Focal Points Committee’s proposal that the Chairperson of the Committee of Focal Points, the Interim CEO of the APRM Secretariat and the Focal Points Ad hoc Committee on Recruitment meet urgently to:
Address issues concerning the recent termination of some staff contracts,
Regularize contracts for all the existing Staff at the APRM Secretariat, and
Work assiduously towards the appointment of a CEO for the Secretariat by the First Week of September 2015.
The APR Forum adopted the APRM Focal Points Committee’s Report on the Administrative and Financial Matters of the APRM Secretariat.
Election of the Chairperson of the APR Forum
The APR Forum unanimously elected H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, as the new Chairperson of the Forum.
Appointment of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the APR Panel
The APR Forum approved the nomination of Dr. Mustapha Mekideche as Chairperson of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons, and Professor Mahamoud Youssouf Khayal, as Vice-Chairperson of the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons.
The APR Forum called on the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to provide for the replacement of the late Panel Member from Nigeria at the earliest convenience.
Appointment of the Chief Executive Officer of the APRM Secretariat
The APR Forum noted that the CEO of the APRM Secretariat, whose appointment was approved at the 22nd Summit of the APR Forum in January 2015, had declined the offer.
The APR Forum endorsed the APRM Focal Points Committee’s recommendation on the recruitment of a substantive CEO for the APRM Secretariat by the First Week of September 2015.
The Forum also extended the mandate of Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, the NEPAD Agency CEO, as Interim CEO of the APRM Secretariat, pending the appointment of the substantive CEO.
H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Chairperson of the APR Forum, thanked the participants and commended the peer-reviewed countries, as well as the APR Panel, for the quality of the 23rd Summit. She also expressed her appreciation to the Government and People of South Africa for their hospitality, which helped to make the 23rd Summit of the APR Forum a success.
ISSUED ON 14 JUNE 2015 IN JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA