At their virtual meeting held Tuesday, members of the APRM Committee of Focal Points, the ministerial body comprising of the personal representatives of the Heads of State and Government of Participating States of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM); has called on all African states to take coordinated and coherent measures in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The APRM Committee of Focal Points, a body of ministers representing the 40 member-countries of the APRM, deliberated on the impact and response of member governments to COVID 19 as well as strategies for ensuring good governance reform efforts continued despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic. The meeting was chaired by South Africa’s Minister of Public Service and Administration, Hon. Senzo Mchunu.
“Like almost every other organization in the world, the APRM is not immune to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, our tools and methodology must therefore adapt to the changes imposed by the virus. It is no longer business as we know it and the APRM is expected to be agile and adjust to remain relevant and impactful”, APRM CEO Prof. Eddy Maloka, was reported to have said at the meeting.
The meeting emphasized that the APRM’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic include both strategic and programmatic elements. The APRM’s strategic response examines the lessons learnt from each other by APRM countries, as a result of the pandemic, as well as reasons behind the failure of the APRM’s methodology to adequately prepare Member States for such a disaster.
The five-step programmatic response considered by the meeting details how the APRM can continue to carry out its work and mandate under the conditions imposed by the pandemic. This include plans for implementing targeted and country review assessments in a virtual environment that maintains the technical household surveys, focus groups and other research-intensive methods that underlie APRM good governance reviews and recommendations to policy makers across the Continent.
In this regard, the meeting had directed APRM’s Continental Secretariat not to wait for full resumption of activities; instead to leverage online platforms to begin preparation for APRM’s country review missions scheduled for 2020 to among others Niger, Nigeria, Ghana, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Chad and Tanzania.
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