The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), an autonomous entity of the African Union, has concluded a weeklong sensitization mission to Maseru, Kingdom of Lesotho, which lasted from 27 June to 1 July 2022.
By Muhammad Usman
APRM is mandated by Heads of State and Government of the African Union to promote policies, standards and practices that will lead to political stability, accelerated sub-regional and economic integration in Africa, among others. As of June 2022, forty-two (42) Member States of the Union have voluntarily acceded to the Mechanism as Participating States. Lesotho, which acceded to the APR in July 2004, was the 12th Member State to accede to the Mechanism.
A communique issued at the end of the mission on Friday in Maseru was jointly endorsed by Prof Eddy Maloka, Chief Executive Officer of the APRM Continental Secretariat and Honorable Matŝepo-Molise Ramakoae, Lesotho’s Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, who doubles as his country’s APRM Focal Point, said the mission was meant to assist the Government of Lesotho to revitalize the APR Process in the country; and provide technical support on reestablishment of the Mechanism’s national structures.
Other objectives of the mission were to sensitize stakeholders about the APRM and its country review processes; explain the role of various stakeholders in the APRM review process; as well as discuss the way forward for APRM in Lesotho, including the possibility of undertaking a second review and/or targeted review on a particular theme.
“It [Lesotho] was also among the first cohort of African Union Member States that started the APRM process. Lesotho was peer reviewed on the 30th of June 2009 at the 11th APRM Forum of Heads of State and Government of Participating States held in Sirte, Libya. This marked an important milestone, the beginning of the implementation phase of the recommendations contained in the review report,” noted the communique.
The statement further noted that by the conclusion of the mission, Lesotho has affirmed its commitment to revive the APRM, re-establish its national structures and commence preparations to conduct a review in 2023. The mission, which was led by the CEO of the APRM Continental Secretariat and his staff, also included APRM Communications Champions, appointed by the CEO in December 2021, to create more visibility about APRM’s programming, activities and country review missions.
Among others, the APRM mission paid courtesy calls to The Right Honourable Prime Minister, Dr Moeketsi Majoro, as well as conducted a series of consultations with relevant government ministers, and the Speaker of the National Assembly. The mission also included a sensitization workshop for stakeholders from government, academia, civil society, private sector and development partners, on how best to support the revitalisation of the APRM in Lesotho, as well as media training for representatives of major media outlets in the country.
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