Johannesburg, South Africa, 29th June – 1st July 2022, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) held its first physical workshop for the external steering committee that oversees the development of the APRM Governance Index, a project sponsored by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The workshop was moderated by Mr Jean Yves Adou and presided by Ambassador Ashraf Rashed. The physical workshop in Johannesburg gave the opportunity for the external steering committee to meet in flesh, consolidate the group cohesion and update and exchange on the groups’ work. The objective of the workshop was to offer the opportunity to finalise the draft conceptual and measurement framework before its submission for validation to APRM member states and Focal Points.
In his opening remarks, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of APRM represented by Ag Director of Operations – Mr Ferdinand Katendeko emphasised that the development of the APRM Governance Index is in two phases: phase one being the development of the comprehensive framework and phase two being the building of the index. The formation of the Steering Committee is very critical in both phases. He remarked that looking at the composition of the steering committee and its working groups, he is impressed by the diversity of its expertise. “As secretariat, we are confident that the Steering Committee will not only provide conceptual guidance for the development of the framework; but will also review the methodology and approach for building the index; provide advice on the nature of data used in building the index; and finally review the APRM Governance Index outputs and advise on their policy relevance” – said Mr Ferdinand.
The workshop commenced with a presentation from Mr Sampson Osei who emphasised the important of prioritising national data during the second phase of the project. Ms Sara Hamouda presented the opportunities of the APRM Governance Index in relation to tracking the key governance areas of the African Union Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) 2030. Prior to breaking out into the working groups, Mr. Khalil El Gazri, the lead consultant of the project presented draft conceptual and measurement framework as well the approach culminating to the five pillars of the framework – Democracy and Political Governance (DPG), Economic Governance and Management (EGM), Corporate Governance (CG), Socio-economic Development (SED) and State Resilience to Shocks and Disasters (SRSD).
The thirty-four (34) member steering committee went into breakaway session and reworked on the draft conceptual and measurement framework. The working groups including all those who joined virtually conceptualised the five main pillars as well as sub-dimensions. This was followed by identifying the key SMART indicators along each pillar and lastly the development of metadata of retained indicators. All cross-cutting sub-dimensions and indicators were thoroughly discussed and placed under the relevant pillars during the plenary sessions.
Besides tabling before all APR Governance strictures, the validated and consolidated framework is envisaged to be validated at the continental level where APRM member states will have the opportunity to comment and sell the idea to their governments.
The external steering committee was launched virtually on 21ST April 2022 under the leadership of APR Panel of Eminent Person, Dr. Ousmane Diallo (the president), and Ambassador Ashraf Rashed, the vice president. The committee is composed of African governance experts and statisticians from different institutions working on governance measurement in the continent including government officials, researchers, practitioners, academia and APRM National Governing Council. The APRM reflects the ultimate commitment of African leaders to the tenets of democracy and good governance. APRM is potentially a decisive element to attain the objectives set forth for the new socio-economic revival of Africa.