A special workshop for regional stakeholders, ‘The African Peer Review Mechanism in Southern Africa: Exploring Synergies with the Southern African Development Community,’ will be held on 20-21 May 2015 in Gaborone, Botswana.
This workshop will be jointly hosted by the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIIA), the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), the African Regional Office of the Open Society Foundations (AfRO) and the Southern African Development Community Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (SADC-CNGO), in collaboration with the continental African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Secretariat.
The workshop will explore how the APRM process has unfolded in Southern Africa. It will also assess the current status of regional economic community (REC) engagement with the APRM, in particular the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The organising partners also hope to initiate dialogue with SADC and other African RECs to establish a deeper and more structured relationship between them and the APRM continental institutions. Workshop participants will make recommendations for ways in which the APRM and RECs can and should work more closely to enhance good governance practices.
The SAIIA-EISA multi-year joint programme on the APRM (including this workshop) is supported by a generous grant from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
About the APRM
Launched in 2003 by the African Union (AU), the APRM is a mutually agreed instrument voluntarily acceded to by the Member States of the AU as an African self-monitoring mechanism. The APRM is a bold, unique and innovative approach designed and implemented by Africans for Africa. The mandate of the APRM is to encourage improvement across four thematic areas: democracy and political governance, economic governance and management, corporate governance and socio-economic development.
The objectives of the APRM are primarily to foster the adoption of policies, standards and practices that lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration through experience sharing and reinforcement of successful and best practices, including identifying deficiencies and assessment of requirements for capacity building.
As of April 2015, 35 countries have signed up. These include Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, 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, Uganda and Zambia. To date, 17 countries have completed their first reviews. These are (in order of review): Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa, Algeria, Benin, Uganda, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mozambique, Lesotho, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Tanzania.
SAIIA, the South African Institute of International Affairs has a long and proud record as South Africa’s premier research institute on international issues. It is an independent, non-government think-tank whose purpose is to encourage wider and more informed awareness of the importance of international affairs. It is both a centre for research excellence and a home for stimulating public debate. The Institute was founded in Cape Town in 1934 and celebrated its 80th birthday in 2014. For five years in a row, between 2010 and 2014, SAIIA was ranked as the top think tank in sub-Saharan Africa in the University of Pennsylvania’s annual Global Think Tank Survey. The Institute has been working on the APRM since its inception in 2003. Tweet to @SAIIA_info
EISA, the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa, is a non-partisan international non-governmental organisation which was established in 1996. Its core business is to provide technical assistance for the capacity building of electoral management bodies, political parties, parliaments, relevant government departments and civil society organisations operating in the democracy and governance fields throughout the African continent. Headquartered in Johannesburg (South Africa), the Institute’s current and past field offices include Angola, Burundi, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Sudan and Zimbabwe, a reflection of its broader geographical footprint. EISA strives for excellence in the promotion of credible elections, citizen participation, and the strengthening of political institutions for sustainable democracy in Africa. Its vision is an African continent where democratic governance, human rights and citizen participation are upheld in a peaceful environment.
AfRO, the African Regional Office, is an initiative of the Open Society Foundations and works with national civil society organisations to conduct systematic audits of government performance in three areas: the justice sector and the rule of law; political participation and democracy; and effective delivery of public services. It has conducted independent reviews of the APRM processes, as well as assessments of electoral management bodies and roles of state broadcasters in Africa.
SADC-CNGO, the Southern Africa Development Community Council of Non-Governmental Organisations was formed in 1998 to facilitate meaningful engagement of the people of the region with SADC Secretariat at regional level, and with the Member States at national level through national NGO umbrella bodies. The formation of SADC was originally influenced by the need to promote and support political liberation in southern Africa.
The APRM Secretariat provides secretarial, technical, coordinating and administrative support services for the APRM processes. This includes preparation of background documents assessing the country to be reviewed, drawing on up-to-date information from national, sub-regional, regional and international organisations. The APRM Secretariat also prepares a document outlining each participating nation’s major governance issues. It is also in charge of organising and facilitating the Country Review Missions. Tweet to @APRMorg
For more information, please contact:
South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)
Head: Governance and African Peer Review Mechanism Programme
Tel: +27 11 339 2021 ext 152
Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA)
Manager: African Peer Review Mechanism
Tel: +27 11 381 600
African Regional Office (AfRO)
Advocacy and Communications Officer
Tel: +27 11 587 5000
Southern Africa Development Community Council of Non-Governmental organisations (SADC-CNGO)
Tel: +27 11 256 3425