UNDERSTANDING AFRICA PEER REVIEW MECHANISM [APRM]

Africa countries are now on the move to break away from the the notorious position often held by other members of the global community that it is a backward continent in every way to development.The continent has been noted for its perennial pockets of regional conflicts, unstable government; poorly managed democracy and economic upheavals that lowers living standard of the people.There is a manifest poverty. 

The collaboration that is festered among Africa countries to harness the Africa resources to develop the continent by peer review can work .A positive change that will come about because Africa counties are willing to learn from each other in the area of politics,democracy, economics and other social activities.If they learn are apply what has been learnt what is there to dampen?.

Such comparism only makes each Africa country watch the back of the other. The greatest challenge facing the Africa Peer Review Mechanism [APRM] is for the acceding countries to define the road maps on public participation at country level.Such that establishes and publicise feedback mechanism between levels of government and non-state stakeholders.

The stakeholders need correct and regular information; unimpeded assess, that will help them to understand what is going on in other countries and that of the indegenous country. It is not unlikely that most Africa countries restrict access to information or publishes an incorrect one to put the people in a rather difficult position to understand going-ons in the Government . 

It is the thinking of APRM that stakeholders should also be involved in gathering information and data for the formulation of Country Self-assessment Report [CSAR] and the formulation and implementation of National Programme of Action [NpoR]. 

It is the difficult in having the leveled ground for this unguided, volition propelled participation as well articulated by the vice chancellor of Rivers State University of Science of technology,Nkpolu, professor Barinene Fakae who was the chairman at the sensitization seminar on APRM In Rivers State on February, 2008.

 He sued for sincerity and transparency and truth on the part of the government in coordinating and encouraging the citizens to speak out their observation and contributions to good governance  without intimation. The transcendation of all embracing Africa programme as the APRM and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development<nepad.org> are, this commitment is primal so that all the partnering Africa countries, especially, the individual country’s citizens and levels of government to understands the nitigrity of the programme. 

As flagship programme of NEPAD,APRM wascrafted to  good governance countries.As an Africa programme mutually acceded countries as an instrument  to self monitor themselves.Agreed Africa and international standards have been streamlined to enthrone and foster good governance in  the continent.This good governance is encourage and not forced upon member countries who voluntary; African Union [AU] Has ascented membership. 

The mechanism does not intend to import external assessment to judge or rate the performance of a country on predetermined scorecard.It is not also a punitive foray.The APRM is built to become a catalylist for advancing reforms in governance and socio-economic development  as well as build capacity in the continent. 

As a representation of the collective expression of all Africa leaders for sustainable good governance.APRM primary mandate is to encourage the adoption of policies and practice that conform to the agreed political, economic and corporate governance values,codes and standards. These also include the socio-economic objectives as spelt out in the New Partnership for Africa’s Development declaration on democracy,politics, economic and corporate governance document.

NEPAD has remained the spring board on which APRM stands.As a strategic policy and socio-economic framework of the Africa Union,it elicits obedience from the members states. At the 6th summit of Heads of states and government implementation committeee of NEPAD held at Abuja,Nigeria on March 3,2003,APRM core documents were adopted and signed as an memorandum of understanding [MoU] which now stands as APRM accession document. 

APRM foster the adoption by Africa government of the policies,standards,values and practices that leads to improved governance.It encourage inter-country experience sharing,comparism,capacity building and peer learning by exercising constructive peer dialogue and persuasion in order to achieve improvement in all aspects and at all levels of governance. 

The principle that propells APRM is the elicitation of demonstrable commitment at the hieght level of  political leadership of an acceding country,national ownership and popular participation.There must be openness, transparency,inclusiveness, accountability and technical competence. A credibility and independence that should be gained from political manipulation. 

Stakeholders participate in the APRM.The APR Country Review Team,during the country support mission[CSM] interacts and consults extensively with gover officials,partiamentarians representatives of political parties the business community and representattives of civil society organisations. This foster suport and deepens interpretative understanding of APR process.

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