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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 26 January 2016 – The APR Panel of Eminent Persons held its 75th Meeting from 25 to 26 January 2016 at the Headquarters of the African Union on the margins of the 26th African Union Summit.
The following members of the APRM Panel attended the Meeting: Dr. Mustapha Mekideche (Chairperson), Professor Mahamoud Youssouf Khayal (Vice-Chairperson), Ambassador Fatuma Ndangiza, Ambassador Ashraf Rashed, Honourable Joseph Tsang Mang Kin, Professor Al-Amin Abu Manga and Honourable Brigitte Sylvia Mabandla.
H.E. Edem Kodjo was reportedly convalescing and therefore could not attend the meeting.
The Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO a.i.) of the APRM Secretariat, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, attended the Panel Meeting together with Senior Staff from the APRM Secretariat.
Madam Litha Ogana and Madam Adjoa Coleman represented the African Union Commission at the Panel Meeting.
Highlights of the Meeting
The 75th Panel Meeting mainly focused on Administrative and Financial Issues related to the overarching theme – “Revitalization of the APRM” and Preparations for the 24th Summit of the APR Forum, during which Djibouti was expected to be peer-reviewed.
The Panel adopted the Agenda for its 75th Meeting, as well as the Progress Report presented by Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the APRM Secretariat, with a focus on the Country Review Process, Administrative and Financial Matters.
The Panel emphasised the need for a speedy conclusion of the procedures for the signing of the APRM Host Country Agreement. South Africa and the African Union Commission are to be approached further on this issue. The Panel took note of the relocation of the APRM Secretariat in November 2015 to new office premises with conference facilities offered by the Government of South Africa. The Panel thanked the Government and People of South Africa for the new Office Premises.
The Panel took note of the positive trends in the Member States’ financial contributions to the APRM, particularly with the announcement of fresh contributions from Djibouti (USD 500,000) and Sudan (USD 200,000) as well as the support pledged by the Strategic Partners of the APRM (UNDP, UNECA and AfDB).
The Interim Chief Executive Officer of the APRM Secretariat called for a united and consolidated Panel as well as an efficient Secretariat with the requisite staff capacity to deliver on their respective mandates. In this context, he recommended:
Continuity in the functions of a consolidated APR Panel and an efficient Secretariat; and
Renewal of contracts for the current Staff of the APRM Secretariat over a longer period (more than 6 months) to ensure their job security and boost their morale.
Dr. Mayaki undertook to make these recommendations to the competent authorities of the APRM (the incoming CEO, APR Forum and Committee of APRM Focal Points) in his speeches during the upcoming statutory meetings of the APRM Organs.
The APR Panel passed the following Resolution after the presentation of the Report of the Secretariat:
“The APR Panel of Eminent Persons adopted a Vote of Thanks and commendation to Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki in recognition of his able leadership, integrity and wisdom in fulfilling his responsibilities as interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the APRM Secretariat. The Panel greatly appreciates Dr. Mayaki’s invaluable contribution in stabilising and consolidating the APRM Secretariat, and his cooperation and support for the activities of the Panel.”
The Panel adopted the Revised APRM Work Plan for 2016, which had to be submitted to the Committee of APRM Focal Points for consideration and adoption. The Work Plan prioritises Review Missions to Senegal and Chad in March 2016 to allow for the peer review of the two countries at the June 2016 Summit of the APR Forum. The Review Missions to Sudan and Côte d’Ivoire are slated for the Second Semester of 2016. A fully costed Work Plan was to be submitted to the APRM Committee of Focal Points for consideration and approval.
There is also provision for a Retreat with the incoming CEO of the APRM Secretariat to which the Strategic Partners will be invited. Other slots in the final Work Plan include a Panel/Strategic Partners Retreat, the Africa Week 2016 Event in New York, an APRM Regional Workshop for the ECOWAS Member States to be hosted by Togo, Djibouti NPOA-National Development Plan Harmonisation Workshop, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Activities, APRM Information and Knowledge Management Programmes and a Meeting of Representatives from the APR Panel, AUC and the Chairperson of the APRM Focal Points Committee on the APRM Integration into the AU, among other events.
The Panel considered the Final Draft Knowledge Management and Communication Strategy for the APRM presented by Mr. Jean Yves ADOU, Head of the Knowledge Management, Monitoring & Evaluation and Review Support Division at the APRM Secretariat. The Panel approved the Knowledge Management and Communication Strategy of the APRM for 2016-2020 and recommended that the Strategy be financed. The Panel reiterated the need to focus on the activities that can be implemented immediately in the first phase without any costs. It also requested the APRM Secretariat to pay greater attention to the coverage of APRM activities on the ground (Panel Missions, Meetings, Review-related activities, etc.), to enhance the visibility of the APRM.
The Panel heard presentations by the Representatives of the African Union on the APRM Integration into the African Union. It commended its Representatives on the APRM Integration Committee – Ambassador Fatuma Ndangiza and Professor Al-Amin Abu Manga – for the paper they presented on the APRM Integration Process. A Road Map for the conclusion of this dossier, prepared by Madam Litha Ogana, and the perspectives reported by Madam Adjoa Coleman, were to be made available to the Panel for consideration. A Steering Committee to monitor the APRM Integration Process will include the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the African Union, Representatives of the APR Panel and the APRM Secretariat. The Steering Committee will hold its first meeting in early March 2016.
The Panel considered the Preparations for the 24th Pre-Summit and Summit of the APR Forum and agreed to emphasize the following key points in the Report of the Chairperson of the Panel to the APR Forum:
– Revitalization of the APRM
– Review Report of Djibouti as a brilliant outcome of the hard work of the APR Panel and the Secretariat
– The Review Missions to Chad, Senegal, Sudan and Côte d’Ivoire planned for 2016
– APRM as a monitoring tool in the framework of the Agenda 2063 and 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
– Incoming CEO of the APRM Secretariat
– Integration of the APRM into the African Union
– Resilience of the Panel and the good work done by the Panel over the past six months.
The Panel decided to highlight the following in the Presentation of the Djibouti Review Report and Key Issues:
– Strengths of Djibouti
– Challenges faced
– Best practices
– Cross-cutting issues
The Panel also advised the Lead Panel Member in charge of Djibouti to announce to the audience the recent creation of the Ministry of Decentralization at the Presidency of the Republic of Djibouti as a palpable outcome of the Review Mission that stressed the need to accelerate the process of decentralization in the regions through a rapid transfer of skills and financial resources to enable the regions to fulfill their economic and social development mandate and improve the people’s standard of living.
The Panel received feedback from the members on their respective missions in January 2016 as follows:
• Honourable Brigitte Sylvia Mabandla: Rwanda (National Dialogue Forum)
• Ambassador Ashraf Rashed : Sudan ( National Dialogue Conference)
• Professor Mahamoud Youssof Khayal: Advance Mission to Côte d’Ivoire.
A Retreat between the Panel, the Interim CEO and the New CEO of the APRM Secretariat will be held tentatively on 24 and 25 February 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa, subject to the outcome of the consultations thereon between Ambassador Fatuma Ndangiza and Professor Abu Manga.
The APR Panel had a short meeting with delegates from the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and the South African Institute of International Affairs. The Meeting discussed progress in the collaboration between the institutions as well as the inherent challenges encountered and discussed ways and means of furthering their collaboration in the coming years.
As part of the PAP/APRM Network, PAP proposed that the Panel consider the possibility of PAP participation in the APRM Reviews on the ground.
The Meeting acknowledged the need for PAP/SAIIA advocacy for the APRM particularly in the area of resource mobilization, without compromising the African ownership of the APRM process.
At the end of the deliberations, SAIIA presented to the APRM its new publication entitled “African Accountability: What works and what doesn’t”.
The Panel took note of Madam Litha Ogana’s proposal on the organization of Road Shows among the activities envisaged within the framework of the APRM revitalization programme. The Panel advised that Road Shows may be organized as part of the APRM Knowledge Management Programme to sensitize the public on the work done by the APRM and its achievements to date.
The Panel agreed to hold its next meeting tentatively in the third week of February 2016.