On Friday, 5th November 2021, H.E. Prof. Eddy MALOKA, Chief Executive Officer, African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Continental Secretariat joined H.E. Wamkele MENE, Secretary-General, African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat at the AfCFTA Secretariat in Accra, Ghana to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The partnership between these two AU institutions will ensure that the mutual objectives and shared vision set out in the MoU will be achieved for the benefit and development of the continent.H.E. Wamkele MENE, welcomed Prof. Eddy MALOKA, and his APRM delegation, including those online, to the AfCFTA Secretariat. He highlighted that the AfCFTA Secretariat and the APRM Continental Secretariat share common aspirations rooted in cooperation and the need to build institutions that are African-led and African-owned.
He noted that indeed the AfCFTA Secretariat has a lot to gain from establishing formal ties with its sister organization (APRM Continental Secretariat) through this MoU. “The APRM has been in place for nearly two decades, and I understand and hope I am right, that the host country of the AfCFTA Secretariat, Ghana – which was the first county to undergo an APRM, assisted in several ways to shape the rules of the APRM. In the same way, Ghana has been actively supporting the establishment of the AfCFTA Secretariat as a solid African institution,” he said.
H.E. further informed the gathering that the purpose of the MoU is to collaborate on the implementation of the respective mandates of both Parties, including harmonizing efforts in line with policies and practices that conform with the agreed political, economic, and corporate governance values, codes, and standards, and to achieve mutually agreed objectives. The following are some of the projects that the two parties agreed to collaborate on;
- Implementation of the strategic plans and priorities of the two institutions, in relation to the review of policies and practices of African countries in the specific area of socio-economic development as well as governance generally.
- Participation in activities and missions relating to country review processes that may be organized by the two institutions.
- Developing methodology and tools for review of national policies and practices in the areas of trade policy and governance generally.
- Strengthening the reach and capacity of the two institutions at national, regional, and continental levels for enhanced and multi-level review of the Agreement Establishing the AfCFTA and its associated instruments; and
- Other activities as may be agreed on from time to time.
H.E. Further highlighted that the two institutions will carry out tasks described in the MoU through modalities that would enable optimal delivery, such as:
- Technical and advisory support, including secondment of staff.
- Joint production of reports and studies.
- Program implementation relating to the achievement of the Parties’ respective core mandates, including the conduct of country reviews specifically on trade policy and performance and on governance more generally; and
- Reciprocal access to data, information and analyses conducted by each Party for the benefit of the other Party.
In his remarks, H.E. Prof. Eddy MALOKA expressed his appreciation to the office of the Secretary General and Chief of Staff for the warm welcome extended to him and his team during the MoU signing event, in a spirit of supporting each other for each party to achieve its core mandate.
He noted that the success of this collaboration especially the development of the M&E tool and other activities requires wide consultations with the AfCFTA State parties, APRM Structures and Member States. The aim is to create ownership and inclusivity thus, not to leave anyone behind.
H.E. concluded his remarks by reiterating the constant availability of the APRM and her total commitment to support the AfCFTA secretariat by availing her tools, processes, and structures to monitor and evaluate efforts made by AfCFTA State parties implementing the agreement.