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Johannesburg, South Africa, 07 October 2015 – The First Ordinary Session of the Fourth Legislature of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has adopted the APRM Country Review Reports of Algeria, Burkina Faso, Lesotho and Uganda.
The Rt. Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang, President of the Pan-African Parliament, presided at the PAP-APRM Session, which was held on 7 October 2015 at the PAP Headquarters in Midrand, South Africa. Other distinguished members of the Pan-African Parliament took part in the debate on the APRM Country Review Reports.
Mrs. Silvia Angey Ufoyuru, Head of the APRM Secretariat in Uganda, represented the APRM Focal Point for Uganda at the Session.
Dr. Rachel Mukamunana, the current Officer in charge of the APRM Secretariat, attended the Session together with Senior Staff from the Secretariat.
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and a number of Civil Society and Media Organisations also participated in the Session.
PAP organised the Session to deliberate on four APRM Country Review Reports of Algeria, Burkina Faso, Lesotho and Uganda, respectively, ensure broad stakeholder participation in the Mechanism and eventually assist in the implementation of the recommendations emanating from the Review Reports.
Honourable Joseph Tsang Mang Kin and Honourable Brigitte Sylvia Mabandla, represented the APR Panel of Eminent Persons at the Session. They presented Review Reports highlighting cross-cutting issues, good practices and key challenges encountered by the Member States.
Cross-cutting issues such as corruption, land use, unemployment, gender inequality, poverty, environmental degradation, and over-dependency on aid featured prominently in the reports.
PAP was informed about progress made in the implementation of the APRM recommendations. The Panel Members commended the peer-reviewed countries for making efforts to implement their National Programmes of Action (NPOAs) and called for more efforts on the part of the Member Countries, as well as continued cooperation and assistance from PAP Members in that regard.
PAP acknowledged the efforts being made by the APRM to deliver on its mandate, notwithstanding the operational challenges facing the Mechanism. Parliamentarians underscored the significant role the APRM is expected to play as the main vehicle for promoting good governance across Africa and commended the Mechanism for serving as an “Early Warning System” in some instances, thereby helping to prevent conflict in the Member States.
Several Speakers agreed that APRM has been promoting dialogue and cooperation among its Member States in general, and making an invaluable contribution to the entrenchment of good governance in Africa, in particular.
During the Session, Parliamentarians drew attention to challenges facing the APRM Member States and recommended collective efforts to address some urgent political crises and emerging issues plaguing the African continent as a whole. The Speakers noted the growing interest in the APRM in recent years but stressed the need to encourage more countries to join the Mechanism.
The Session also expressed the hope that the Mechanism will continue to address governance issues and be instrumental in fostering the adoption of policies, standards and practices that will promote political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration.
The APRM Panel briefed PAP on the significant challenges facing the Mechanism, particularly in the area of resource mobilization, and urged the Parliament to encourage the Member States to honour their statutory obligations to the continental Mechanism.
The APRM Panel stressed that the APRM continues to deliver on its mandate, despite the numerous constraints, and that it is vital to ensure that the Mechanism is adequately resourced to enable it to fulfil its mandate. The Panel emphasised that the goal of promoting good governance, as envisaged by the Founding Fathers of the APRM, cannot be achieved without the Member States’ continued support and cooperation. The APRM Panel of Eminent Persons urged the APRM Member States not to remain complacent, considering that operational constraints constitute one of the major factors affecting the APRM.
The Country Review Reports of Algeria, Burkina Faso, Lesotho and Uganda were adopted by PAP at the end of the Session.
The other APRM Country Review Reports that had previously been debated by PAP were those of Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda.
To date, the following thirty-five (35) countries have voluntarily acceded to the APRM: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.
Seventeen (17) out of the thirty-five countries have been peer-reviewed, namely, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa, Algeria, Benin, Uganda, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mozambique, Lesotho, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Tanzania.
These countries have developed National Programmes of Action and are at various levels of their implementation.