Johannesburg, South Africa, 27 February 2016 – The APR Panel of Eminent Persons held its 76th Meeting from 26 to 27 February 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Chairperson of the APR Panel, Dr. Mustapha Mekideche, presided over the Meeting.
The other members of the APRM Panel who attended the Meeting were: Professor Mahamoud Youssouf Khayal (Vice-Chairperson), Ambassador Ashraf Rashed, Honourable Joseph Tsang Mang Kin, Professor Al-Amin Abu Manga and Honourable Brigitte Sylvia Mabandla.
Professor Edward Maloka, the newly-appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the APRM Secretariat, attended the Meeting together with Senior Staff from the APRM Secretariat.
Highlights of the Meeting
The 76th Panel Meeting focused mainly on Administrative and Financial Issues related to the “Revitalization of the APRM” and Preparations for the Review Missions to Chad and Senegal.
The Panel Members introduced themselves to Professor Edward Maloka. On behalf of the Panel, the Chairperson of the Panel congratulated Professor Edward Maloka on his appointment as CEO of the APRM Secretariat and assured him of the Panel’s support in his endeavour to revitalize, reinvigorate and renew the APRM Secretariat.
Professor Edward Maloka introduced himself subsequently and thanked the APR Forum and the Panel for offering him the opportunity to serve the APRM in particular, and Africa in general, in his new outfit. He extended his gratitude to Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, the former Interim CEO of the APRM Secretariat, for the invaluable services he rendered to the Secretariat during the transitional period, and reiterated his bid for fruitful and dynamic working relations with the Panel in strengthening the APRM Secretariat to enable it to deliver on its continental mandate.
The Panel commended the CEO on the bold initiative he took in organizing a meeting within the framework of the APRM Day on 26 February 2016 with the African Diplomatic Corps accredited to South Africa.
The Continental APRM Day will be commemorated on 9 March 2016 in N’Djamena under the auspices of H.E. Idriss Deby, President of the Republic of Chad and current Chairperson of the African Union, in the presence of the APRM Focal Point for Kenya, as well as the Chief Executive Officer of the APRM Secretariat and the Chairperson of the APR Forum.
The APR Panel recalled the success of the 24th Summit of the APR Forum and paid tribute to H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya and current Chairperson of the APR Forum, for developing a strong leadership to spearhead the APRM revitalization process.
The Panel reaffirmed its resolve to contribute to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s efforts to improve the financial situation of the APRM Secretariat and finalize the process of APRM integration into the African Union.
The Panel thanked the Government and People of South Africa again for the new Office Premises with conference facilities offered to the APRM by the Government of South Africa.
The Panel welcomed its Chairperson’s call for unity within the Panel and for discipline in the performance of all Panel-related functions.
The Panel adopted the Agenda for its 76th Meeting, as well as the Minutes of its 75th Meeting.
The Panel also adopted the Secretariat’s Progress Report presented by the CEO with a focus on the Country Review Process, Administrative and Financial Matters, and an Overview of the CEO’s “Turnaround Strategy for Revitalizing, Reinvigorating and Renewing the APRM”.
The CEO’s Turnaround Strategy highlights financial and administrative measures aimed at stabilizing the Secretariat. The details will be presented for in-depth discussion and approval at a Retreat to be organized in April 2016 under the auspices of the Chairperson of the APR Forum.
The Revised APRM Work Plan for 2016 was revisited and the Panel endorsed the new dates scheduled for the priority activities as follows:
• The Review Mission to Chad will be undertaken from 4 to 23 March 2016;
• At the request of the Senegalese Authorities, the Review Mission to Senegal is rescheduled to start on 11 April 2016;
• The Review Missions to Sudan and Côte d'Ivoire are slated for the Second Semester of 2016.
The Panel considered the Matters Arising from its 75th Meeting and decided as follows:
a) Honourable Joseph Tsang Mang Kin and Honourable Brigitte Sylvia Mabandla have been appointed by the Chairperson of the APR Panel to represent the Panel on the Joint Committee with the Secretariat that will prepare a Draft Document on the Status of the APR Panel Members.
b) The Chairperson of the APR Panel will consult once more with H.E. Edem Kodjo on his status as Member of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons – in view of his prolonged absence from Panel Meetings – before seeking guidance from the Chairperson of the APR Forum on matters concerning H.E. Edem Kodjo, if need be;
c) The Secretariat will prepare Draft Statutes governing the APRM Integration into the African Union for consideration by the Panel and subsequent discussion at the Retreat with the APRM Committee of Focal Points;
d) The Secretariat will prepare and field a Follow-up Mission to Côte d’Ivoire to advise on the nationwide APRM Sensitization Programme, as well as the composition of the country’s National Governance Commission, and make inputs to the upcoming Workshop on the APRM Questionnaire;
e) The Chairperson of the APR Panel will write to notify the APRM Focal Point for Côte d’Ivoire of the APR Panel’s recommendations concerning the establishment of a well-balanced National Governance Commission including Civil Society and other political actors;
f) The Secretariat will prepare, and submit for consideration at the next Panel Meeting, an “Instrument of engagement” governing the status and entitlements of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons;
g) The CEO of the Secretariat will hold an internal meeting and come up with a list of Coordinators from the Secretariat assigned to APRM Member Countries, taking into account the linguistic demands and other specific criteria to be met by the Coordinators;
h) The Panel welcomed the CEO’s Turnaround Strategy, which provides for the hiring of a “Legal Secretary” to work on APRM documentary resources (Reports, Minutes of Panel Meetings, etc.), among other functions;
i) APRM must be one of the main pillars of the African Governance Architecture (AGA). The African Union will be approached to consider the possibility of seconding an expert to work on the APRM-AGA harmonization programme;
j) The Panel approved the CEO’s recommendation of the Association of Statistical Agencies in Africa as a Strategic Partner of the APRM that will make inputs to the development of the APRM Questionnaire and Review-related issues, among other functions.
APRM Advance Mission to Liberia
The Panel heard a report presented by Honourable Brigitte Sylvia Mabandla, the Lead Panel Member in charge of the APRM Process for Liberia, on an Advance Mission she recently undertook to Liberia together with Mr. Ferdinand Katendeko, the APRM Coordinator for Liberia.
The Panel commended Honourable Brigitte Sylvia Mabandla and Mr. Ferdinand Katendeko for the outcome of the mission, particularly, the Road Map for the Liberia Review Process, and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Technical Visits within the framework of the Country Review Mission to Liberia.
The Panel agreed to hold its next meeting tentatively on 20 May 2016.
Professor Al-Amin Abu Manga delivered the Vote of Thanks at the end of the proceedings. He observed that the positive trends being observed across the Continental Mechanism eloquently signal “The Rebirth of the APRM”.
The Panel seized the opportunity offered by its 76th Meeting to organize a tour of inspection on the new office premises of the APRM Secretariat. The Panel notes with satisfaction, the allocation of offices for the Panel and the Chairperson of the Panel on the new premises of the APRM Secretariat.
APRM Secretariat, Midrand, Johannesburg, 27 February 2016