MEDIA STATEMENTS

APRM Opening ceremony

Date: 13 Apr 2012

Friday, 13 April 2012

Durban

Summit expected to bring positive operational, technological changes for Africa's governance watchdog The way the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) conducts its day-to-day business is set to vastly improve once the meeting of the body's Focal Points concludes its deliberations.

The two-day summit opened at Durban's Coastlands Hotel in KwaZulu-Natal, with rules relating to operating procedures as well as the self assessment methods in the face of latest technological advancements high on the agenda.

Hosted by Minister for Public Service and Administration, Mr. Roy Padayachie and the APRM Secretariat, delegates today deliberated at length strategies putting to practice the newly-adopted Operating Procedures as well as ways to revise the questionnaire that is currently used by member states when assessing themselves.

In his opening remarks, Minister Padayachie, who is South Africa's Focal Point in the APRM, described the APRM's self assessment tool as the process that promotes internal dialogue both among member states and within their individual societies, saying it was therefore developmental in nature.

"As APRM member-states we still have a lot to do in enhancing the interconnectedness of good governance and economic growth that the APRM fosters," he said.

Established in 2003, the APRM is a voluntary body whereby participating African Union member-states assess themselves under an agreed set of rules and mechanisms for the advancement of good governance, democracy and economic development.

Addressing a media conference later, APRM's Focal Points Chairperson, Mr. Newai Gebreab of Ethiopia said that while good governance was the APRM's overarching objective, the body strives for the attainment of full equality for all citizens in the Continent.

"In Africa 250 million youths are unemployed and live below the poverty line. Revival and stamping of agriculture for economic growth must be emphasized, and the fight against diseases such as malaria and HIV/Aids must be intensified from all fronts", he said.

The chairperson of the African Peer Review Panel of Experts, Professor Amos Sawyer said rules and their regular review were essential to the governance and work of the APRM.

"This meeting will deal - the latter referring to technological advancements around the world with operational and scientific rules." The summit is scheduled to end on Saturday.

For more information contact: Dumisani Nkwamba at 082 885 9448 or dumisaniN@dpsa.gov.za


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