Friday, February 12, 2010



By Steven Gruzd
South Africa


1. The 12th Summit of the Committee of Heads of State and Government Participating in the African Peer Review Mechanism [APR Forum] was held on 30 January 2009 at the African Union Commission Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Summit was chaired by H.E. Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chairperson of the APR Forum.

2. The following Heads of State and Government attended the Summit:
(i) H.E. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of the Republic of Algeria;
(ii) H.E. Blaise Compaoré, President of the Republic of Burkina Faso;
(iii) H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti;
(iv) H.E. John D. Mahama, Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana;
(v) H.E. Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia;
(vi) H.E. Pakalitha Mosisili, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho;
(vii) H.E. Bingu Wa Mutharika , President of the Republic of Malawi;
(viii) H.E. Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa;
(ix) H.E. Omer Al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan;
(x) H.E. Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda; and
(xi) H.E. Rupia Banda, President of the Republic of Zambia.

3. H.E. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, attended the Summit.

4. The Heads of State and Government of Angola, Benin, Republic of Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Togo were represented by Ministers and Senior Officials.

5. The members of the African Peer Review Mechanism Panel of Eminent Persons [APR Panel] present were Professor Adebayo Adedeji (Chairperson of the APR Panel) and Professor Mohamed Séghir Babès.

6. Mr. Assefa Shifa, the Officer in charge of the APR Secretariat, was also in attendance.

7. In his welcome address, H.E. Meles Zenawi, Chairperson of the APR Forum, expressed his pleasure in hosting the distinguished gathering in Ethiopia, the seat of the African Union. He indicated that the Meeting would consider Progress Reports on Implementation of the National Programmes of Action [NPOAs] of Uganda, South Africa, Benin and Burkina Faso and deliberate on the Reconstitution of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons.

The Chairperson emphasised that the value addition of the APRM in fostering governance and socio-economic development would be realized if the NPOAs emanating from the process were implemented. 8. He congratulated the Government and People of Mozambique on the successful conduct of the October 2009 Presidential Election and welcomed back to the fold, President Armando Guebuza who was sworn in for a second term of office on 14 January 2010.

9. The Chairperson appealed to the APRM Member Countries, especially those in arrears, to pay up their dues in order to sustain the accomplishments of the continental Mechanism, as well as its efforts in the way forward, so as to reinforce their claim to its African ownership.

10. Professor Adebayo Adedeji, the Chairperson of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons, who presented a Progress Report on the APRM, conveyed condolences to the Government and People of Ethiopia, on behalf of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons and the APR Secretariat, for the unfortunate crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 409 from Beirut to Addis Ababa on 25 January 2010. He also apologised for his absence from the 11th APR Forum that was held in June 2009 in Sirte, Libya, due to his health condition at that time. The highlights of his report are as follows: "The APRM is making progress, judging by the current momentum of the Mechanism. The membership of the APRM has increased to 30, following the accession of the Republic of Cape Verde in 2009.

This number represents 76 percent of the total African population. The completion of the reviews for Mali, Lesotho and Mozambique in 2009 brought to 12, the number of peer-reviewed member countries of the APRM. Ethiopia and Mauritius hosted their Country Review Missions in the second half of 2009 and are poised for their peer review in June 2010. He strongly urged the member countries that are yet to embark on their activities to accelerate their national processes.

The National Programmes of Action (NPOAs) designed to address challenges identified in the four thematic areas during the review process are also being implemented progressively. For the second time in the history of the APRM, the Forum was devoting a substantial part of the agenda for its January 2010 Summit exclusively to a comprehensive and holistic review of progress in the implementation of the NPOAs.

Post-review missions to Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa, as well as post-review visits to Algeria and Ghana, are envisaged as part of the APRM Work Plan for 2010. The Algiers recommendations on the revision of the APRM Master Questionnaire, Process Manuals and the development of a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation framework for NPOAs are also being implemented.

Pursuant to the mandate entrusted to the Panel of Eminent Persons by the Chairperson of the APR Forum, the APR Panel is restructuring the APR Secretariat to align it with the African Union (AU) System, following the signing of the Host Country Agreement between the AU and South Africa on 9 October 2009. A new Organisational Structure modelled on the AU format is being introduced for the APR Secretariat, with provision for a larger staff complement that will enhance efficiency at the Secretariat. The first set of interviews for recruitments has been conducted.

11. Professor Adedeji described the APRM as a unique entity among the AU institutions - by virtue of its presence at national levels - and emphasised that the Mechanism implements participatory and transparent recruitment processes.

12. The Chairperson of the APR Panel concluded his statement by reiterating the fact that the APRM is inculcating a culture of good governance in Africa in fostering inclusive participation of the citizenry in governance.

13. He thanked the APR Forum for offering him the opportunity to serve as Chairperson of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons.

14. In the absence of the President of the Republic of Cape Verde, the signing of the Memorandun of Understanding by the President was deferred. It will be recalled that Cape Verde was accepted as member of the APRM at the Summit held on 30 June 2009 in Sirte, Libya.

15. Prior to the deliberation on the main agenda items in the Closed Session of the Summit, the Chairperson of the APR Forum requested all persons who were neither representatives of Heads of State and Government nor Heads of Partner Institutions of the APRM to excuse themselves from the venue.

16. The Forum adopted the Agenda for its 12th Summit and focused mainly on Progress Reports and the Reconstitution of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons. Presentation of Progress Reports on Implementation of the National Programmes of Action (NPOAs)

17. In the absence of President Boni Yayi and, at the request of South Africa, the presentation of Progress Reports for Benin and South Africa was postponed until the next Summit of the APR Forum. Uganda

18. President Yoweri Museveni presented highlights of Uganda’s First Annual Progress Report on Implementation of the National Programme of Action. He indicated that significant progress has been made in implementing the NPOA, of which the highlights are as follows: With regard to preventing and reducing intra-state conflicts, efforts have been geared towards amending the 1998 Land Act and formulating the National Land Policy. Security has been restored in Northern Uganda.

The Government has also introduced the Peace, Recovery and Development Programme (PRDP) for Northern Uganda and the Karamoja Integrated Disarmament and Development Programme (KIDDP) for supporting the recovery and development of Northern Uganda and Karamoja respectively.

Tangible achievements have been recorded in the promotion of sound economic management. The growth rate recorded for 2008/09 was 7 per cent, despite the adverse effects of the global economic and financial crisis. The level of dependence on Foreign Aid has also dwindled considerably. The high economic growth rates, which yielded significant gains in socio-economic development in general, also account for the improved welfare of the majority of Uganda’s population in particular.

The Government of Uganda will ensure judicious management of the country’s oil wealth to avoid the oil curse. President Museveni stressed that since oil is a finite resource, Uganda’s oil revenue will not be used frivolously. It is earmarked for productivity-enhancing activities such as energy development, construction of railways, provision of high-level education and scientific research.

The total cost of implementation of the NPOA in the first three years was estimated at USD 4,857,102,574. For 2008/09, the Government disbursed UGS. 2,833.55 billion on its NPOA implementation - 18.5 per cent above the UGS. 2,391 billion that was planned.

Observations by the Forum

19. The Forum commended Uganda for the brief and concise Report. It commented on the quality of Economic Growth in relation to quantity, using social indicators for Education and Health as examples. It was inferred that there is the perceived need for a paradigm shift if the transformation of the structure of African economies is to be attained as this constitutes a challenge not only to Uganda but also to most African countries. According to the Forum, a comprehensive approach, like the current steps being taken by Uganda, is the type that is needed. However, Uganda has to deepen its approach and rethink capitalism. The privatisation of pension funds was also debated and the Forum urged Uganda to further consider the related parameters.

20. Commenting on the rapid population growth in Uganda, the Forum cautioned that although human capital is important for national development, if it is not managed properly, it poses challenges in terms of delivery of social services and creation of employment. The Forum recommended that Uganda women, especially those in rural areas, be equipped with adequate information and provided access to family planning options. Burkina Faso

21. President Blaise Compaoré presented highlights of the Progress Report on the Implementation of the NPOA of Burkina Faso. Among other positive developments, he cited: The progress made in opening up the political landscape in the country. For instance, the National Assembly recently passed laws prohibiting floor crossing in Parliament and requesting political parties to ensure at least 30% female representation on their electoral lists. In this regard, the Government is promoting girls’ education as part of the long-term perspectives. Procedures for filing cases before the Constitutional Court have also been expanded to address the needs of a broader section of the population.

Actions are being taken to reinforce the rule of law, especially in the area of electoral disputes. The Government has launched a nationwide campaign on the free issue of birth certificates to enable citizens to possess identity cards necessary for their movement and for their participation in the socio-economic life of the country.
More importantly, Burkina Faso has gone a step further to integrate the NPOA into the National Development Plan and the Government is enforcing transparency in the management of proceeds from the country’s extractive industry.
Observations by the Forum

22. The Forum congratulated Burkina Faso on the quality of its Progress Report and commended the Government for implementing the NPOA.

23. With regard to floor crossing, the Forum noted that the effect of allowing or banning floor crossing on the consolidation of democracy should be analysed within the specific context, whether in a Proportional Representation or First Past the Post system.

24. The Forum stressed the importance of designing implementable programmes in order to develop adequate capacity and resources required to address the issues identified in the NPOAs. Reconstitution of the APR Panel

25. The Chairperson of the APR Forum recalled the decision taken by the Forum at its 10th Summit, which consisted in replacing the outgoing Panel members in stages. In this context, Professor Adebayo Adedeji (Nigeria), Professor Mohamed Séghir Babès (Algeria) and Madam Domitila Mukantaganzwa (Rwanda) were confirmed as continuing members of the APR Panel.

26. It will be recalled that at the 10th Summit, the APR Forum requested the APR Panel to draft procedures for its operation. The Chairperson of the APR Forum indicated that a Sub-Committee of Focal Points to be set up shortly will consider the document submitted in this regard and address the concerns raised by the Focal Points at their meeting with the APR Panel on the eve of the 12th Summit of the APR Forum.

27. The Chairperson of the APR Forum announced that, after due consultations, the names and Curriculum vitae of qualified Africans meeting the regional and gender balance criteria were sourced. He had received nominations from Burkina Faso, Ghana and Lesotho but these nominations were not inspiring. Finally, the APR Forum designated the following four persons to serve as new members of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons: Professor Amos Sawyer (Liberia) Ambassador Siteke Gibon Mwale (Zambia) Mrs. Julienne Ondzieil-Genelenga (Republic of Congo) Barrister Akere Tabeng Muna (Cameroon).

28. The Forum resolved to appoint more women to serve on the APR Panel in the near future, considering that women constitute more than half of Africa’s population.

29. The APR Forum thanked the Heads of State and Government who attended its 12th Summit in Addis Ababa and expressed its appreciation to the Government and People of Ethiopia for their hospitality and for the excellent arrangements they made to ensure the success of the Summit.