Ghana on Monday urged all member states of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) to renew their commitment and interest in the process and rededicate themselves to its core values and objectives.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, made the appeal at the opening of a Regional Experience-Sharing and Sensitisation Workshop on the Second Generation APRM Reviews in Accra.
She said the APRM, established in 2003, was a mutually-agreed instrument, which member states of the African Union (AU) had voluntarily acceded to as part of an African self-monitoring mechanism for measuring performance in governance.
She said Ghana was one of the first countries to submit herself to the APRM process because of the conviction that the process had the capacity to enhance good governance on the continent.
She said: “Heads of State peer-Ievel review is a good tool to promote political stability, accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration, economic growth and sustainable development”.
“By acceding to the APRM, Member States agree to independently review their compliance with African and international governance commitments.”
The APRM is a tool for sharing experiences, reinforcing best practices, identifying deficiencies, and assessing capacity-building needs to foster policies, standards and practices that lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration.
Member countries within the APRM undertake self-monitoring in all aspects of their governance and socio-economic development.
Following Ghana’s achievement, other African countries have followed suit.
Today, out of 38 participating countries, 22 had been peer-reviewed.
Out of this number, three had undergone their second reviews namely; Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique.
The workshop, which was organised by the APRM National Governing Council, in collaboration with the Continental APRM Secretariat brought together several African countries, development partners and non-state actors to facilitate peer learning on how APRM review processes were carried out with particular regard to the second review, and how recommendations in the first APRM reviews had been used to achieve better outcomes.
Madam Botchwey noted that, regrettably, despite the fact that the National APRM Governing Council went on to achieve a number of national and local level successes in promoting the concept and carrying out its mandate to oversee the implementation of the APRM, Ghana had not been able to sustain the momentum after the first APRM review; stating that 13 years after the first review, Ghana was yet to undergo its second review.
“Ghana is passionate about the APRM and is therefore, determined to renew her commitment to the second review,” she said.
She said on the basis of that evaluation, a new National Program of Action with a few key actions was expected to be proposed.
The new National Programme of Action is expected to make the APRM Review process more relevant to citizens’ needs, more cost-effective and in tune with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 priorities and targets.
She said that the National Governing Council had put the implementation of Ghana’s long overdue second Country Review on the front burner of its activities.
Chief Executive Officer, APRM, Professor Eddy Maloka, said in constantly advancing the quest for better governance at all levels, the APRM encourages member states to regularly subject themselves to APRM reviews; stating that this objective had been far reaching.
He announced that Zimbabwe and Guinea had both applied to be reviewed in January 2020.
The Chairman, APRM Panel, Prof Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, lauded Ghana for the premium it placed on the implementation of the APRM in the country.
Chairman, APRM National Governing Council, Reverend Prof Emmanuel Asante, said the Governing Council was very appreciative to the Government and other agencies for the support it had been receiving in its efforts to put the APRM back on track in the country.
He said the Council would be making a request to the Government for it to undertake target review of certain sectors of the economy in the shortest possible time.
The Coordinator of the Peer Review Process, APRM, Dr. Rachael Mukamunana, said the workshop was to afford participants the opportunity to discuss the significance of the APRM National Governing Councils.