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APRM Set to Commemorate 20th Anniversary Dec 10 – 14 in Johannesburg

Twenty years after it was established by the NEPAD Heads of State Summit on March 9, 2003, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), Africa’s governance self-monitoring mechanism willingly acceded to by AU member states, is set to commemorate its main 20th anniversary, from 10 to 14 December 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa. 



A press statement by the APRM Continental Secretariat said the 20th anniversary, which will be attended by a wide-range of governance stakeholders including Heads of State, will be commemorated through a series of meetings and events under the theme: “Accelerating and Deepening Governance Reform, Measures, and Intervention.’’

The statement said the APRM has since its inception recorded a number of achievements, including deepening democracy and good governance through its unique process of peer reviews and assessments, which has contributed to the strengthening of the participation of citizens in governance processes and fostering peer-to-peer engagement at the level of Heads of State and Government.

“As a premier homegrown, African good governance tool, the APRM has the primary purpose of fostering the adoption of policies, standards and practices that lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable and inclusive development and accelerated regional and continental economic integration, through sharing of experiences and reinforcement of successful and best practices and providing reliable data and information.”

The APRM is mandated to ensure the policies and practices of Participating States are in conformity with agreed continental political, economic, and corporate governance values, codes and standards, as contained in the AU Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance. To this end, the Mechanism recently underwent a revitalization process which was also aimed at addressing a number of challenges, including institutional ones.

“The process of revitalization included a three-pronged strategy of restoration, reinvigoration, and renewal. The priorities of revitalization were: (1) revisiting the philosophy of the APRM; (2) revising the review methodology; (3) ensuring compliance with APRM principles; (4) resource mobilization; (5) integration of the APRM into the AU system; and (6) the role of the APRM in monitoring of AU Agenda 2063 and the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

The APRM Secretariat said as well as other milestones, the revitalization process has repositioned the Mechanism to better monitor, evaluate and track the implementation in key governance areas on the continent, including the African Union Agenda 2063, and the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

“The 20th Anniversary Celebrations will be an opportunity to reflect upon the APRM’s accomplishments and the impact it has had on advancing democracy and good governance across the continent. In the last twenty years, the APRM has recorded significant progress, with the number of its Member States increasing from six in 2003 to 43 at present. The Union of the Comoros is the latest AU Member State to accede to the Mechanism in February 2023,” it said.

The statement said apart from the APRM’s four original thematic areas of focus, i.e., democracy and political governance; economic governance and management; corporate governance; and social economic development, the Mechanism now has as its 5th thematic area of focus, state resilience to shocks and disasters.

The statement concluded that it was in recognition of this progress that the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government at its 36th Ordinary Session held in February 2023 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in a decision called upon all AU Member States and the entire AU system to join the APRM in the celebration of its 20th Anniversary with year-long activities and events.




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