03 March 2018, Cairo, Egypt – The President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, H.E. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has indicated his country’s readiness to undertake its first APRM Country Review Process. This came about during a courtesy call by the APRM Support Mission led by the APR Panel of Eminent Persons Vice-Chairperson, Professor Ibrahim Gambari to His Excellency, President Fattah el-Sisi at the State House.
“The Arab Republic of Egypt is ready to demonstrate to the world its commitment towards good governance. We will open ourselves to the APRM process without interference and will maintain the integrity of the process. We pledge our utmost assurance and support to the peer review process. We hope the resultant Country Report is objective and reflects the realities in Egypt”, said President Fattah el-Sisi.
The Egyptian President was passionate in his expression that development on the African continent should be underscored by good governance. He further emphasized that good governance is the cornerstone for development of the Continent. He spoke of various initiatives within the different spheres of Egyptian Public Service to strengthen good governance and to build the capacity of public officials.
Speaking at the meeting, Professor Gambari said Egypt’s preparedness to open itself up to the peer review process is a significant step towards encouraging other countries in the North Africa region to follow suite in either acceding to the APRM or submitting themselves for the review process.
“Egypt is a very strategic country in the region. Being the host of the League of Arab States and submitting itself for review sends out a clear message of its commitment to good governance and improving the lives of the Egyptian people. I therefore encourage all stakeholders who will be involved in the Support Mission to engage in frank and progressive dialogues”, alluded the Panel Vice-chair.
Prof. Gambari further pledged that the APRM will provide the country with all the support it needs during the review process especially given that Egypt will be the first country to pilot the use of the electronic questionnaire in its APRM process.
The Support Mission is expected to consult with various stakeholders including the Egyptian Prime Minister as well as Government Ministers, President of the National Governing Council, private sector actors, civil society structures and further provide training to Technical Research Institutions (TRI’s).
The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, Honorable Sameh Shoukrya and APRM representatives.
Egypt acceded to the APRM in March 2004. The Support Mission will conclude on 6 March 2018.
THE FIVE STAGES OF A PEER REVIEW
1. CONSULTATION The APR Secretariat and the Country under review consult on the process overview and terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The Country under review creates a Focal Point to liaise with the Secretariat and provide it with relevant laws, treaty ratifications, budgets and development plans. The Secretariat prepares a background assessment document. At the same time, the Country under review independently completes the APR Self-Assessment Questionnaire, gathers inputs from civil society and drafts a paper outlining the nation’s issues and a National Programme of Action (NPoA) with clear steps and deadlines on how it plans to conform to APRM codes and standards, the African Union Charter, and UN obligations. The Country Review Team that is set up writes a report outlining issues to be focused on during the review mission.
2. THE REVIEW MISSION visits the Country under review and conducts broad-based consultations with government, officials, political parties, parliamentarians, and representatives of civil society organisations (e.g. media, academia, trade unions, professional bodies), and the private sector. The mission typically lasts two-and-a-half to three weeks.
3. DRAFT REPORT: The APR Country Review Team drafts a report on the Country under review.
4. THE PEER REVIEW takes place at the level of the APR Forum, using the APR Panel’s report on the team’s findings as a basis. The APR Forum discusses these recommendations with the Reviewed Country’s leadership.
5. FINAL REPORT Within six months, after the peer review, the published Country Review Report must be tabled in sub-regional institutions (Pan-African Parliament, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, AU Peace and Security Council, Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union [ECOSOCC AU]). The report is then made publicly available.
Established as a voluntary self-assessment instrument of governance within African Union Member States, the APRM was launched in 2003 by six Member States. Currently, about forty AU Member States participate in the Mechanism.