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APRM is part of SA’s government core priorities-DG Makhasi

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The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) forms part of the South African government’s core priorities of seeking to improve intra-Africa trade and relations.

These were the views shared by Public Service and Administration Director-General, Ms Yoliswa Makhasi at the APRM’s Country Review Mission cocktail reception held in Pretoria on Friday night.

“We therefore, view the APRM as part of the core priorities of government, as we seek to be a better version of ourselves and improve intra-Africa trade and relations.

 “As the Country Review Mission, we have invited you to assist us as a country to assert our role in driving the continent to the direction that our forefathers in 1963 in Addis Ababa and in 2002 in Durban at the launch of the African Union pointed this great continent to.

“It is in this context that as government, we welcome your presence to assess the progress made since the last Review.

“As government, we have mobilised all sectors that are part of the National Governing Council and we commit ourselves to be available for your assistance throughout this period,” said Ms Makhasi who delivered the speech on behalf of Public Service and Administration Minister, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo. 

The APRM was initiated in 2002, but was established in 2003 by the African Union (AU) in the framework of the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

The APRM is a specialised agency of the AU and it serves as a platform or a tool to share experiences and reinforcing best practices towards political stability, accelerated economic growth and regional and continental integration as well as sustainable development.

Member countries within the APRM undertake self-monitoring in all aspects of their governance and socio-economic development.

The 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.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is the current chairperson of the APRM, however, he will handover the chairpersonship in 2022.  

Ms Makhasi said Cabinet in adopting the self-assessment report highlighted the significance South Africa attaches to the APRM as an instrument to foster regional and continental integration and people-to-people relations.

She said the APRM represents the homegrown solutions that Africans have been crying aloud for many years…solutions that recognise that as a continent ‘we are not a basket case.’

“The challenge of many African countries in assessing the state of governance has largely been the lack of objectivity and real information by external institutions assessing governance on African continent, using foreign concepts and ideals.

“We are still seen as a donor recipient continent; yet, Africa has capacity and means of conducting her own assessments by using locally generated data and information that is objective,” she said.

The Country Review Team arrived in South Africa earlier this week. The Review Mission is visiting South Africa, which is under the 2nd Generation Review, to conduct broad-based consultations with government, political parties, trade unions, parliamentarians, the private sector, academics, the media and civil society organisations.

Director-General Makhasi said 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.

The four thematic areas

  • Democracy and political governance;
  • Economic Governance and Management;
  • Corporate Governance and;
  • Broad-based Sustainable Socio-Economic Development.

There are also five stages of a Peer Review, which includes Consultation, where the APR Secretariat and the Country under review consult on the process overview and terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The Country under review independently completes the APR Self-Assessment Questionnaire, gathers inputs from civil society and drafts a paper outlining the nation’s issues and a National Programme of Action (NPoA) with clear steps and deadlines on how it plans to conform to APRM codes and standards, the African Union Charter, and UN obligations.

The Country Review Team that is set up writes a report outlining issues to be focused on during the review mission.

The Country Review Mission visits the Country under review and conduct extensive consultations.

Draft Report, where the APR Country Review Team drafts a report on the country under review. The next stage is the Peer Review that take place at the level of the APR Forum, using the APR Panel’s report on the team’s findings as a basis.

During this stage, the APR Forum discusses these recommendations with the reviewed country’s leadership.

The final stage is the drafting of the final report within six months after the peer review; the published country review report will be tabled in sub-regional institutions (Pan-African Parliament, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, AU Peace and Security Council, Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union [ECOSOCC AU]) next year.  

It is after this stage where the report is made available for the public.

The AU Assembly further extended the mandate of the APRM to include monitoring of the implementation of the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Agenda 2030.