Addis Ababa, 26 January, 2013 (ECA) - The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) has over the course of the last decade, become “a trail-blazing event on the African continent and, indeed, the world,” according to remarks by Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. He made this statement today at a round table discussion made up of a panel of Heads of States of the APRM forum.
Congratulating the Heads of States and Governments for “staying the course over the last decade,” Mr. Lopes lauded the APRM, describing it as “a uniquely African institution without precedent anywhere else in the world.”
He noted that APRM is an important means towards realizing NEPAD’s goals and underscored the mechanism's central role in the NEPAD's transformative agenda that has swept the continent over the last decade. He also highlighted its role in promoting ownership, leadership and transformation in terms of how development in Africa is undertaken.
"APRM has contributed to a paradigm shift about how we think about and do development," said Lopes, underlining that the mechanism of self assessment; as well as policy dialogues and civil society engagement among others, "have sought to promote a model of governance that would foster socio-economic development in Africa.”
Despite its numerous challenges, Lopes proposed some strengthening measures, including the need for champions within the APRM structure, together with its strategic partners. This, he stressed would "rekindle the lost momentum and make the APRM a truly African success story.”
On challenges of implementing the outcomes of the APRM process, he said that most African countries realize the benign nature and potential of the APRM approach to development, in terms of ownership and leadership in the national governance systems and "would most likely stick with it or join if not already a member." He argued however, that that at issue is “how to muster the political will to completely implement the outcomes of the APRM process.”
Furthermore, he posited that the emerging new generation of political leadership on the continent needs to be reflected on as most of the APRM pioneer leaders have now retired.
“There is a need for the new generation to find the APRM inspiring" said Lopes, stressing that APRM needs to be seen as "a collective governance effort that is necessary for the nascent political and economic transformation taking place on the continent." He offered the ‘Arab Spring’ in North Africa, and the imperative of using mineral wealth to transform African economies, as examples of areas the APRM needs to be more engaged in.
The objective of the forum was to highlight the key topics emerging from the APRM reviews, as well as other topical and pertinent developmental challenges facing the African Continent.
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