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17 October 2016 -President of Sierra Leone H.E Ernest Bai Koroma has recommitted his country to the principles and ideals of the African Governance Mechanism (APRM). Delivering his key note address at the Launch of Sierra Leone’s First and Second APRM Progress Reports on the Implementation of their National Programme of Action (NPoA), President Koroma highlighted that ‘in order to ensure that there was inclusivity and no political interference during the country’s APRM self-assessment process, Sierra Leone established a National Governing Council comprised mainly of civil society organizations and the private sector’.
‘We have also aligned the National Programme of Action with the Sierra Leone National Development Blue Print our country’s agenda for prosperity. These steps will no doubt help in enhancing Sierra Leone’s APRM programme when it comes to be the key player in monitoring the implementation of the AU Agenda 2063 as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Sierra Leone is currently concluding its 3rd and 4th Progress Reports which will render the Country’s ready to undertake the APRM 2nd Generation Review.
Speaking at the event, the Lead APRM Panel Member for Sierra Leone Ambassador Fatuma Ndangiza congratulated the West African county for its exemplary implementation of the APRM Process.
Ambassador Ndangiza further urged the government to continue supporting the ‘National Governing Council (NGC) and the Secretariat, to ensure effective implementation of the National Programme of Action.
‘In this regard, we kindly request the Government to deliberately budget for the NGC; possibly through a Legislation, which empowers the NGC to perform its duties efficiently’, she said.
Sierra Leone is one of the APRM model countries with best practices to share.
Sierra Leone joined the APRM in July 2004 and underwent a peer review by the Heads of State and Government in 2012. The country is now implementing recommendations from the Reports and its National Programme of Action.
‘Sierra Leone has also demonstrated exemplary efforts in addressing the cross-cutting issues highlighted in its Peer Review Report. These issues include Capacity Constraints; Corruption; Decentralisation; Ethnicity and Managing Diversity; Youth Unemployment; Blessings and Curse of Mining and Minerals; and Gender and Empowerment of Women. These efforts improve governance and socio economic policies, and are beneficial to all the people of Sierra Leone’, said CEO of APRM Secretariat, Professor Eddy Maloka.
He additionally recalled the decision of the last APR Forum in Nairobi, Kenya which approved the increment in the Annual Contribution of APRM Member States from 100 thousand dollars to 200 thousand dollars.
‘It is important for all APRM Member States to honour their financial obligations so that the Mechanism can sustain itself with minimal support from donors. This then guarantees self-determination and prevents countries from sliding back into colonization’, said the Head of the APRM Continental Secretariat.
Professor Maloka further mentioned five key elements for an effective APRM process. He noted 1) strong leadership and political will; 2) an active and engaged Focal Point; 3) a dynamic and rooted NGC; 4) integration of the NPoA into the National Development Plan; and 5) an engaged populace as key ingredients for the successful implementation of the APRM process.
The Launch which was celebrated under the theme ‘promoting good governance through poverty eradication and human rights’ was attended by Cabinet Ministers, Members of the Judiciary, Opposition Political Parties, Members of the APRM Continental Secretariat, Students and Civil Society Organizations, all of whom pledged their support to the APRM and committed to monitoring implementation of the NPoA.