Zanzibar, Tanzania, 31 August 2017 (ECA) - The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in collaboration with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Continental Secretariat and the Tanzanian APRM national governing commission, recently organized a national workshop to provide technical assistance and skills to national civil servants working in planning authorities, finance, budget and other government departments.
Titled; “Harmonizing the APRM Tanzania National Plan of Action with the National Development Plans”, the workshop also targeted a larger number of civil servants working in Zanzibar itself as organizers sought to advocate the integration of the APRM-National Plan of Action into existing national and sub-national development plans.
These include the Zanzibar Development Vision 2020, and MKUZA III, which is also known as the Zanzibar Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty.
The training aimed to provide participants with the necessary tools, through peer-learning from APRM pioneer countries, for monitoring the process and reporting purposes.
To effectively track progress towards the implementation of the national plans of action, the ECA developed tools and frameworks that have been in use since 2009. The organization also provided tailor-made training programmes for public servants and civil society organization actors through peer-learning and sharing of experiences to facilitate the harmonization of the plans into existing national development plans.
The workshop was opened by Juma Hassan Reli, Executive Secretary of Zanzibar Planning Commission.
Mr. Juma expressed the enthusiasm the government of Zanzibar has towards improving governance challenges in line with the recommendations of the APRM Country Review Report (CRR).
“This workshop is a blessing in disguise and came at the right time and moment; exactly two years since we started to implement and monitor the development plan and achieve the Zanzibar Development Vision 2020. The bottom line is to switch from planning mode to execution mode and get the positive results,” he said.
In her remarks, the ECA’s representative, Hodane Youssouf, highlighted the main reasons why only a few countries report annually on the implementation of their national plans of action.
“Lack of political backing, lack of financing architecture and challenges of collection, disaggregation and dissemination of data all affect the reporting expected from countries on their national plans of action,” said Ms. Youssouf.
She pointed out that with this current unprecedented political commitment, it is expected that the country submits its first APRM annual progress report in the January 2018 APRM Summit.
The Vice chair of APRM Panel of Eminent Persons, Brigitte Sylvia Mabandla, praised the government of Tanzania for its stewardship in reviving the APRM process in the country.
She said the implementation of the national plan of action remained the weakest link in the APRM process yet it was the most significant output of the review process.
Ms. Mabandla suggested the integration of APRM Action Plan Program into national development plans such as the Zanzibar Development Vision 2020, MKUZA III and Medium Termination Plans to be accelerated.
A representative from the President’s Office said Zanzibar’s government is committed to address all the challenges identified in the APRM Country Review Report.
ECA presented for the first time a manual developed in 2017 to help Member States harmonise and integrate APRM national plans of action into national development plans. Ms. Youssouf and her team also made a presentation of the integration of Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals into national development plans.
Participants from Zanzibar and the Tanzania National Governing Commission, with the support of ECA and the APRM Secretariat, approved an Action Plan to follow as the Head of State is expected to present his country’s first progress report to the APR Forum in January 2018.
The workshop was attended by 58 officials from various ministries, departments and agencies, development partners, members of the APRM National Governing Council, and the media.
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