Johannesburg, South Africa- The 73rd Meeting of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons (APR Panel) was held from 28 to 29 September 2015.
Dr Mustapha Mekideche, Chairperson of the APR Panel, presided over the meeting. The following members of the Panel were in attendance: Professor Mahamoud Youssouf Khayal (Vice-Chairperson), Ambassador Fatuma Ndangiza, Ambassador Ashraf Rashed, Professor Al-Amin Abu-Manga, Hon. Joseph Tsang Mang Kin and Hon. Brigitte Sylvia Mabandla.
Also present at the meeting were Dr. Rachel Mukamunana, Officer-in-Charge representing Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Interim CEO of the APRM Secretariat, and other Senior Staff of the Secretariat.
Highlights of the Meeting:
The Meeting officially welcomed Dr. Rachel Mukamunana, the new Officer-in-charge of the APRM Secretariat, and Mr. Jean Yves Adou, Head of the Knowledge Management, Monitoring & Evaluation and Review Support Division.
The Meeting further commended Hon. Joseph Tsang Mang Kin, and the Review Team for successful completion of the Djibouti Review Mission.
The main purpose of the APR Panel Meeting was to consider the preliminary findings of the Country Review Report of Djibouti and deliberate on other matters, including the revitalisation of the APRM and integration of the Mechanism into the AU, as well as financial and administrative issues affecting the organisation.
Update on the preparation for the Extraordinary Summit
As announced in the Kenya Statehouse Press Release, “APRM Extraordinary Summit has been postponed and will now be held on the margins of AU Assembly meetings in Addis Ababa in January 2016”.
The Panel commended the leadership of His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya and Chairperson of the APR Forum, and the continued commitment of Member States to the APRM.
The Panel also thanked the technical team that helped organize the Extraordinary Summit, which has been postponed to January 2016 to ensure maximum participation.
The Chairperson of the Panel, Dr. Mustapha Mekideche recalled the achievements of the past thirteen (13) years and highlighted the critical role media and civil society organizations have played in advancing governance in Africa. He called on the media and civil society organizations to continue to work together to support the Mechanism’s revitalisation process.
Updates on Country Review Missions
Addressing the Meeting, the lead Panel member for Djibouti Country Review Mission (CRM), Hon. Tsang Mang Kin, underscored the success of the review mission which took place from 5 to 19 August 2015. In line with APRM procedures, the Review Team met with all stakeholders including representatives of various state institutions, non-state stakeholder groups and Development Partners in order to conduct an independent assessment of the state of governance in Djibouti and come up with recommendations to address the shortcomings.
The APR Panel congratulated Djibouti for undertaking its governance self-assessment and welcoming the Review Team. It is an important milestone in the quest for better governance and sustainable development of the country.
The Panel further commended progress achieved by Chad, Sudan and Senegal in preparing for their review missions scheduled to take place before the end of this year.
Outreach and Partnership
Pan African Parliament (PAP) APRM Network
The Panel commended the Pan African Parliament – APRM Network initiative established in October 2014 to build synergies between PAP and the APRM, on the one hand, and between the two institutions and national parliaments, on the other hand.
The Panel also underscored the need to increase APRM awareness among other key AU organs and institutions through the existing PAP APRM Network (PAN).
The Panel welcomed the tabling of the four country review reports, namely Algeria, Burkina Faso, Uganda and Lesotho at the First Ordinary Session of the Fourth Parliament, on the 7 October 2015.
APRM participation in “Africa Week 2015”
The APR Panel nominated Dr. Mustapha Mekideche, Professor Mahamoud Khayal, Honourable Tsang Mang Kin to represent the APRM at the Africa Week, which will be held on 12-16 October 2015 at the United Nations, in New York. The discussions will be focused on the theme of the Week: “Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – Moving from Aspirations to Reality”. The Panel will make presentations on the role of the APRM in the monitoring of Agenda 2063 and the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.
It is also planned that Dr Mekideche, the Chairperson of the Panel will meet the Heads of APRM Strategic Partners – UNDP, UNECA and AfDB – on the margins of the Africa Week in the context of consolidating partnership and cooperation between these institutions and the APRM.
Knowledge Management and Communication
The Panel welcomed the progress in improving the APRM Web presence, social media presence and media relations. The Panel further commended the work that has started on the development of the Knowledge Management and Communication Strategy with the support of the UNDP.
The APRM was established in 2003 by the African Union in the framework of the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). A voluntary self-assessment tool instituted by African Heads of State, the APRM aims at promoting more effective governance across four thematic areas: Democracy and Political Governance, Corporate Governance, Economic Governance and Management, and Socio-economic Development.
The primary objective of the APRM is to foster the adoption of policies, standards and practices that lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration through experience sharing and reinforcement of successful and best practices, including identifying deficiencies and assessing requirements for capacity building.
The mandate of the APRM is to ensure that the policies and practices of participating States conform to the agreed political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards contained in the Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance. The APRM is the mutually agreed instrument for self-monitoring by the participating member Governments.
Every review exercise carried out under the authority of the Mechanism must be technically competent, credible and free of political manipulation. These stipulations together constitute the core guiding principles of the Mechanism.