Strengthening good governance in Africa is consistent with ECA’s overall mission of providing tangible support to Member States. ECA has a strong track record in providing strong support for improving governance across the continent as exemplified by its various activities and efforts geared toward good governance, including its strong support for the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).
In a continuous effort to promote good governance in Africa, ECA has gone beyond its pioneering and instrumental role in the genesis of the peer review idea in Africa to significantly contributing toward the successful implementation of APRM.
As one of the substantive strategic partner institutions (together with AfDB and UNDP), ECA plays an important and proactive role in APRM anchored on well-defined machinery for planning, organizing and monitoring its support to all the phases of the APR process from the country support missions to follow-up actions.
Since 2004, experts from ECA’s substantive divisions have been involved in mission support, technical support in key areas of the review process, the establishment of APR database and country profiles, and research on key aspects of APRM.
ECA supports the implementation of the APRM in the following ways:
- Responding to the needs of the APR Panel and Secretariat and the AU member countries that have acceded to the Mechanism
- Providing support at each of the five stages of the peer review process—from Country Support Missions to the finalization of the Country Review Report and to the implementation of the Program of Action
I. Participation in Country Support and Review Missions
In terms of mission support, ECA participates extensively in the Country Support and Review Missions to carry out wide consultations and interviews with the relevant stakeholders—government officials, parliamentarians, opposition party members, private sector representatives, civil society groups, including the media, academia, trade unions, and non-governmental organizations to prepare the county for the review.
II. Technical Support
Besides participating in Support and Review Missions, ECA provides extensive technical support to the APR process, the APR Secretariat and participating countries. More specifically, the Commission has been involved in technical assessment in economic governance and management, democracy and political governance, and socio-economic development. ECA contributes in the preparation and review of documents including Background Documents, Self-Assessment Reports, and Country Plan of Action. ECA along with other Strategic Partners undertakes field missions in APRM countries to investigate how to trace the links between the National Programme of Action (NPoA) and other existing national development programmes and to ensure consistency and harmonization between the two.
In line with its mandate, ECA participates in the conduct of technical assessments and professional investigations in the countries into critical issues identified by the APRM Support and Review Teams, through dialogue with all the stakeholders to harmonize the findings of the country self-assessment studies. ECA also made significant contributions to the preparation of Country Review Reports of 16 APRM countries that have completed the process, and submitted their reports to the APR Panel and the Heads of State Forum for peer review.
III. APR Database and Country Profile
ECA’s support for the peer review process is also envisaged in terms of the establishment of an APR database of information on participating countries against which critical and credible assessment can be effected and which will also feed into country profiles. To this end, ECA has developed a robust repository of information and data on countries in the form of country profiles drawing on ECA’s work on governance and on tracking performance of African economies, and pulling together the extensive and continuous work in the social and economic areas including the development of indicators (economic stance, poverty, trade competitiveness, governance, gender, and other MDG-related indicators). By developing such comprehensive profiles, ECA is now more and better prepared to play a more proactive role in facilitating the Country Support and Review Missions. The results from the country assessments will also be used as inputs to updating the country profiles. Finally, ECA will use the APR database and country profiles as a mechanism for post-peer review follow-up and monitoring.
IV. Follow-up Support
As more African countries participate in and complete the APR process, ECA will contribute to the follow-up mechanism, providing periodic vital information on each country’s progress in fulfilling its plan of action.
ECA will also align its programs of support to member countries with the critical needs identified through the peer review process and to each countries plan of action to address the needs.
- Providing data and documents in the areas of governance and socioeconomic development for country profiles and background reports especially from the Economic Report on Africa and the African Governance Report
- Conducting research, analytical studies and Capacity Building Workshops to strengthen the APRM and ECA's support to the Mechanism. ECA conducts analytical studies on various aspects of the APRM in order to improve the implementation of the process, strengthen its structures, and make ECA's support more effective.