Governance: African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) crucial for SDG implementation in Africa  

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Cairo, 10 December 2017 (ECA) – “African States have not benefited from the SDGs enough for a simple reason: the lack of follow up”, said on Sunday APRM member Youssouf Khayal. “I am drawing your attention to this, because the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) has been entrusted with the monitoring of SDG implementation in Africa”.

“By allowing countries to assess their performance in political, economic, corporate governance and socio-economic development through a self-assessment and peer review mechanism, the APRM’s value has been evident in its potential as an early warning mechanism for potentially emerging issues”, said ECA APRM focal point Hodane Youssouf.

In a two-day workshop held in Cairo (Egypt) for North African countries under the theme “Promoting a people centered and peaceful Africa: the role of the African Peer Review Mechanism”, the ECA Capacity Development Division (CDD), the Continental Secretariat of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the APRM Focal Point for Egypt stressed the growing importance of this mechanism for the strengthening of governance in Africa.

In addition to North African countries, APRM countries including Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti and Equatorial Guinea have shared their experiences. Both the Gambia and Somalia also attended with a view to possibly joining the mechanism.

The APRM was first established in 2003, to promote the African Union vision and shared values of democratic governance and inclusive and sustainable development. This mechanism allows countries to assess the progress made in four key areas : Democracy and political governance, economic governance and management, corporate governance and socio-economic development. The assessment and corrective measures are established by member countries themselves, with the support of their peers.

“The uniqueness of the voluntary approach chosen when it comes to APRM is very important because, we, in Africa, are not waiting for people to lecture us from abroad on what we need to do”, said Khalid Emara, APRM focal point in Egypt, “It is important to bear in mind that this is a process owned and led by Africans, but at the same time, allows for an exchange of experiences with the rest of the world”

Organized under the theme: Promoting a people centered and peaceful Africa, this awareness raising workshop aimed at North African countries is part of a series of meetings held throughout Africa. It will be followed on 12-13 December by the first awareness raising workshop dedicated to Egypt.

Egypt was one of the first countries to join APRM in 2004. National support for this process is at the highest level according to Khalid Emara, APRM focal point for Egypt and Ashraf Rashid, head of the National Committee for Governance. Rashid stressed the efforts made by his country to improve governance, and which include, the set-up of the National Committee for Governance and high-level research centers for a national follow up in this field.

To this day, out of the 36 African Union member countries who have joined the APRM, twenty have completed their self-assessments and benefited from peer reviews. Others, such as Liberia, Uganda and Sudan completed their self-evaluation and should be evaluated by their peers in January 2018.