Djibouti – The Official Ceremony for the launch of the Review Report of Djibouti has kept its promises. The event, which was a great success, brought together more than 400 participants at the People’s Palace in Djibouti City. The audience comprised all Cabinet Ministers, Secretaries General of the Ministries, Representatives of Civil Society Organisations and the Private Sector of Djibouti. An impressive presence of the Diplomatic Corps was also noticed.
In his opening address, Mr. Aden ABDOULKARIM, National Secretary of APRM-Djibouti, briefly recounted the principal stages of the APRM process and highlighted, the Governance Self-Assessment Exercise that culminated in the production of the Report. This document ushered in the process spanning the external review of Djibouti conducted from 4 to 19 August 2015 by Honourable Joseph TSANG MANG KIN and a support team of eighteen (18) African Governance Experts from twelve (12) Member States of the African Union. The APRM National Secretary recalled that this high-quality report was peer-reviewed at the Forum of Heads of State and Government of APRM Member Countries on 28 January 2017 in Addis Ababa.
The Coordinator of the UN System and UNDP Representative in Djibouti, Mrs. Barbara MANZI, spoke highly of a Mechanism like APRM, whose main characteristics are inclusion, participation and transparency in the review of governance in the Member States. She also opined that one interesting aspect of APRM is that the Mechanism highlights good practices alongside the weaknesses identified that are slated for rectification through the implementation of National Programmes of Action (NPOAs). She ended her remarks by reassuring APRM of the UN System’s support in fulfilling its original mandate as well as the new expanded mandate.
For her part, Dr. Rachel MUKAMUNANA, Representative of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the APRM Continental Secretariat, Professor Eddy MALOKA, who was unavoidably absent, thanked His Excellency Ismael Omar GUELLEH, President of the Republic of Djibouti, his Government and the People of Djibouti for their unflinching commitment to the APRM process in the bid to improve the governance profile in their country. Among the key issues covered in the Djibouti Review Report, she mentioned institutional and political stability, multi-party democracy, peace in the country as well as the good practices. Dr. MUKAMUNANA further referred to the National Programme of Action and encouraged all sections of the society to participate massively in its implementation.
The Lead Panel Member in charge of Djibouti, Professor Fatima KARADJA, in turn warmly thanked the Head of State for his commitment to the APRM process, from his voluntary accession to the APRM Memorandum of Understanding on 1 July 2007 up to this stage of the launch of the Review Report. She also recounted the following strong points among the major aspects for which Djibouti takes credit: (i) reputation as a haven of peace in a rather turbulent region; (ii) the culture of peace and the peaceful nature of the population which are qualities rooted in its traditions; (iii) a relatively high growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with contained inflation; (iv) a shining example in terms of ratification and/or promulgation of international conventions, insofar as the Republic of Djibouti, which gained independence in 1977, has ratified a great number of conventions ; (v) a different approach to financing its budget deficit; and (vi) advances made in the passing of laws favourable to women. She referred to Djibouti’s good practices and highlighted, for example, the country’s traditional conflict resolution mechanisms. The Lead Panel Member stressed the need to implement the National Programme of Action (NPOA) in an endeavour to overcome the governance challenges identified in the Review Report. She called for the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation system to ensure good results while keeping its inclusive and participatory aspect as Djibouti did it during the previous phases of the process. She finally urged Djibouti to protect and preserve the APRM jewel in the service of the continent.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, APRM Focal Point for Djibouti, outlined developments in the APRM process in Djibouti up to the fifth stage marking the launch of the Review Report. He also cited Djibouti’s strengths, as well as the challenges facing the country, and urged all members of the Government to implement the 2035 Vision in their respective sectors.
His Excellency Abdoulkader Mohamed KAMIL, Prime Minister of the Republic of Djibouti, the representative of the Head of State, was the last speaker at this grand ceremony. He welcomed the presence of Africans from APRM in Djibouti. He reaffirmed the commitment and will of the President of the Republic, his Government and the People of Djibouti to strengthen democracy, cooperation between Africans and intra-African solidarity through the implementing of the recommendations of the Review Report. The Prime Minister also promised to publicise the Djibouti Review Report at the continental level and then has proclaimed officially launched the Djibouti Review Report.