ECOWAS Member States Urged to Accede to APRM- Africa’s Flagship Governance Program

Members of the high table at the start of the two-day workshop in the Ivorian Capital, Abidjan
Members of the high table at the start of the two-day workshop in the Ivorian Capital, Abidjan

(APRM-Liberia)-The four countries in the West African sub-region yet to accede to the Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) initiative have been urged to do so, as the APRM is a great tool for good governance that can speed up their development.

Mr Alassane Diamouténé, Chief of Staff of the Office of the Minister of Integration of Ivory Coast made the call recently at the start of a two-day West Africa Regional Workshop on the Africa Peer Review Mechanism in the Ivorian Capital, Abidjan.

Mr Diamouténé, opening the workshop, observed that “Thirteen out of fifteen countries in our ECOWAS zone have known at least a crisis period and/or civil war due to issues around governance.

He said, putting an end to this would therefore require recourse to good governance and taking into account the real aspirations of our peoples.

Mr Diamouténé added, that it is this context that has contributed to the engagement of countries of the sub-region with initiatives such as the APRM that review political governance.

Member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that are not yet party to APRM initiative include Cape Verde, the Gambia, Guinea and Guinea Bissau.

Also speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr Mustapha Mekideche – President of the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons indicated that there are on-going efforts at re-invigorating the Mechanism, based on four guiding principles.

He named the principles as: 1) the reality principle which clearly shows that the level of governance of APRM-adhered member States has improved, compared with those states still to join the process; 2) the solidarity principle which encourages countries of a sub-region such as ECOWAS to progress on an equal footing in matters of political, social and economic governance; 3) the conviction principle which promotes the idea that Africa can pretty much make progress on the path to governance and can do so with its own means; and 4) the subsidiary principle which seeks to create synergies with other bodies to promote adherence to the Mechanism .

Dr. Mekideche then enlisted the advocacy support role of ECOWAS for its member States to include their APRM national action plans in wider national and regional development plans.

Speaking on behalf of the Chairperson of the ECOWAS Commission, Koffi Siméon, said the Commission intends to fully play its role to support the efforts of member States towards a homogeneous and universal appropriation of APRM across West Africa.

The Vice President of the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons (who doubles as the main Panellist for Cote d’Ivoire) – Prof Mahmoud Youssouf Khayal, and Ms Hodane Youssouf – representing the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), who also addressed the meeting, placed the Mechanism within its context of originality and innovation. They argued that no single tool in the world matches the APRM’s governance and accountability framework, which is strongly building a movement for governance in Africa in general and in West Africa in particular.

Over fifty personalities from across ECOWAS honoured the invitation of the APRM Secretariat, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). The two-days workshop, examined several APRM issues, notably getting abreast with the second-generation review methodology, ensuring sponsorship of the four ECOWAS countries that are not yet members of the Mechanism and sharing of good practices.

Liberia was represented at the event by Dax Patterson Sua, Executive Director of the APRM-Liberia Country Program and Amos Z. Koukou, Liaison to APRM –Liberia Country Program Office.

About the African Peer Review Mechanism

A Specialised Agency of the African Union (AU), the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) was initiated in 2002 and established in 2003 by the African Union in the framework of the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

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 use the APRM to self–monitor all aspects of their governance and socio-economic development. African Union (AU) stakeholders participate in the self-assessment of all branches of government – executive, legislative and judicial – as well as the private sector, civil society and the media. The APRM Review Process gives member states a space for national dialogue on governance and socio-economic indicators and an opportunity to build consensus on the way forward.

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