Johannesburg, South Africa, 13 November 2015 – The 74th Meeting of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons was held from 12 to 13 November 2015 at Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa. The Chairperson of the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons (APR Panel), Dr. Mustapha Mekideche, presided at the meeting.
The following members of the APRM Panel attended the Meeting: Dr. Mustapha Mekideche (Chairperson), Ambassador Fatuma Ndangiza, Ambassador Ashraf Rashed, Honourable Joseph Tsang Mang Kin, Professor Al-Amin Abu Manga and Honourable Brigitte Sylvia Mabandla.
Also present at the meeting were Dr. Rachel Mukamunana, Officer in charge of the APRM Secretariat, representing Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Interim CEO of the APRM Secretariat, and other Senior Staff of the Secretariat.
Dr. Mekideche informed the Panel that H.E. Edem Kodjo is convalescing in Paris and therefore could not attend the meeting. He also conveyed apologies from Professor Mahamoud Youssouf Khayal, who was absent as a result of another mission he was undertaking in France.
Dr. Mekideche informed the Meeting about the sudden demise of Mmatlou Ramatlhodi, mother of Advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi, the recently-appointed APRM Focal Point and Minister of Public Service and Administration of South Africa. On behalf of the APR Panel Members, Dr. Mekideche expressed his deepest condolences to Advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi and the bereaved family.
Highlights of the Meeting:
The APR Panel Meeting focussed on the adoption of the Djibouti Review Report and other matters, including preparations for the upcoming review missions, the APRM Knowledge Management and Communication Strategy, revitalisation of the APRM, and its integration into the AU.
There was a great feeling of confidence and satisfaction at this meeting where the Panel Members took cognisance of a series of recent activities involving Panel Members – all of which attested the fact that APRM is indeed strongly back in business.
Recognizing the efforts made and the corresponding achievements, the APR Panel commended Honourable Joseph Tsang Mang Kin and the Review Team for the successful completion of the Djibouti Review Mission.
The Meeting commended the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire for holding peaceful elections.
Updates on Country Review Missions
The Panel noted, with satisfaction, the successful completion of the Djibouti Review Mission, an exercise that the Panel has now accomplished for the first time in four years, and congratulated Honourable Joseph Tsang Mang Kin and his Team on their accomplishment.
Presenting his Draft 1 Report on Djibouti, Honourable Joseph Tsang Mang Kin thanked the authorities of Djibouti, the Focal Point and his Team for the warm reception accorded to the Review Team and for their contribution to the organisation of the Mission. He highlighted some of the good practices such as the peace values and the resolution of conflicts but also drew attention to the challenges posed by the growing budget deficit, lack of reliable statistics, the decentralisation process and the lack of trained personnel, especially in the regions.
The Panel examined, amended and validated the Report that will now be sent to the Djibouti authorities for comments. Thereafter, the Report will be submitted to the next Summit of the APR Forum scheduled for January 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The APR Panel recognised the need to encourage countries where the review process has stalled to make efforts to participate more effectively in the revitalization exercise underway.
The Panel decided that the Review of Chad and Senegal will be on the agenda for the June 2016 Summit of the APR Forum of Heads of State and Government as part of the ongoing efforts to fast-track the APRM revitalization process driven by H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, the current Chairperson of the APR Forum.
To that effect, the Country Review Missions to Chad and Senegal will be launched concurrently in February 2016 so that both countries can be ready for peer review at the June 2016 APRM Summit. Dr. Koffi Adorgloh is the Coordinator in charge of the Review Process of Chad and Mr. Dalmar Jama has been designated as Coordinator in charge of the Review Process of Senegal. Mr. Dalmar Jama will be assisted by Mr. Jean Yves Adou, the Head of the Knowledge Management, Monitoring & Evaluation and Review Support Division at the Secretariat.
Sudan and Nigeria will also be launching their reviews in 2016. For its part, Liberia will be hosting a Country Support Mission and a Workshop for the Stakeholders in February 2016.
The Panel reallocated countries to its members as follows:
Professor Al-Amin Abu-Manga : Tanzania
Honourable Brigitte Sylvia Mabandla: Liberia, Rwanda and Uganda
Honourable Joseph Tsang Mang Kin: Angola
Ambassador Ashraf Rashed:Equatorial Guinea
Ambassador Fatuma Ndangiza: South Africa.
Outreach and Partnership
Pan African Parliament (PAP) APRM Network
The Panel commended the Pan-African Parliament/ APRM Network (PAN) initiative commenced 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. In this context, the meeting held in September 2015 between the Chairperson of the APR Panel and the new President of PAP consolidated the set vision, thereby paving the way for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two institutions.
The Panel welcomed the presentation, at PAP, of APRM Review Reports on Algeria, Burkina Faso, Lesotho and Uganda by two representatives of the APR Panel – Honourable Joseph Tsang Mang Kin and Honourable Brigitte Sylvia Mabandla.
The APR Panel’s initiative was welcomed and discussed by the Parliamentarians, who examined the reports and made relevant comments thereon.
Following the successful presentation of four APR Reports on Algeria, Burkina Faso, Lesotho and Uganda at PAP in October 2015, the APR Panel recommended that four (4) Review Reports on Benin, Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Africa be tabled at the next PAP Ordinary Session in May 2016.
APRM participation in “Africa Week 2015”
The APRM Panel heard a report presented by Honourable Joseph Tsang Mang Kin on the Panel’s participation in the Africa Week organised at the UN Headquarters in New York from 11 to 15 October. The APRM Delegation led by the Chairperson of the APR Panel, Dr. Mustapha Mekideche, included Professor Mahamoud Youssouf Khayal, Vice-Chairperson of the APR Panel, and Honourable Joseph Tsang Mang Kin.
The APRM Delegation played an active role every day of the week in all the seminars and round-table discussions on the Role of the APRM in promoting good governance and human rights in Africa. The weeklong event shed more light on the continental Mechanism and enhanced its international visibility among an array of participants comprising Ambassadors from African countries, Representatives of other UN Member Countries, UN Specialised Agencies, APRM Strategic Partners – UNDP, UNECA, AfDB – and Civil Society Organizations.
The New York Mission also helped to increase the credibility of the APRM as an active partner in the implementation of the AU Agenda 2063 and Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
For the future, the Panel suggested that the APRM Delegation to participate in the Africa Week include one representative from the Secretariat to work on the preparations prior to the commencement of the event.
The APR Panel thanked H.E. Maged Abdelaziz, the UN Special Advisor on African Affairs (OSAA), for inviting and assisting the APRM to raise its profile before the international community.
APRM Knowledge Management and Communication Strategy
After some presentations given respectively by the Head of the APRM Knowledge Management & Communication, M&E and Review Support Division and a Consultant hired by UNDP, the APR Panel of Eminent Persons welcomed the Draft Knowledge Management and Communication Strategy designed for the APRM. The Panel deliberated on the document and provided substantial inputs to be taken into consideration in refining the Draft Strategy that was designed collectively with civil society organisations and technical partners.
The Panel recommended that the APRM Knowledge Management and Communication Strategy be developed as a matter of urgency while taking into account the core business of the APRM: Self-assessment, Review and Implementation of National Programmes of Action (NPOAs).
The Panel indicated that the Knowledge Management and Communication Strategy is expected to help in raising awareness about APRM in both the short term and long term.
The Panel advised that the Knowledge Management and Communication Strategy should lay more emphasis on the good practices and products of APRM, and that the final document be discussed in the framework of a Retreat with the APRM Committee of Focal Points.
The APRM Knowledge Management and Communication Strategy was finally validated and adopted by the APR Panel of Eminent Persons.
Integration of APRM into the African Union
The Panel was informed that the African Union will be seconding an AU Commission Director shortly to work with the APRM Secretariat on the modalities of the APRM integration into the African Union.
The Panel reaffirmed its approval that Ambassador Fatuma Ndangiza and Professor Al-Amin Abu-Manga represent the Panel in the consultations with the AU Commission Director on the APRM integration process.
The Panel requested the Secretariat to submit to Ambassador Ndangiza and Professor Abu-Manga promptly all the necessary information about the APRM integration process.
The APR Panel of Eminent Persons was informed that the selected Chief Executive Officer of APRM is to be appointed during the upcoming Summit of the APR Forum in January 2016. The Panel was also notified that the Interim CEO of the APRM Secretariat, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, has issued 3-year AU Regular Contracts to the two Divisional Heads in charge of Knowledge Management and Country Review Processes respectively and that the remaining two Divisional Heads (Corporate Services and Thematic Coordination) are to be issued with 3-year AU Regular Contracts in the first quarter of 2016.
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.