The expert meeting was convened jointly between the APRM Secretariat and the AGA Secretariat bringing together APRM Secretariat staff, institutional stakeholders, leading experts on APRM and governance. The meeting was to discuss, at expert level, the expanding role of the APRM as a tool for monitoring, evaluation and authoritative reporting on issues of governance on the continent. To that end, the meeting looked at the APRM mandate, including what emanated from the recent AU Summit Assembly decisions, looked back and “reviewed” the APRM record over the past 14 years, and looked forward to considering ways and means of further enhancing the role of the APRM as a monitoring and evaluation tool for governance in the continent.
The meeting was opened with welcome remarks from Prof. Eddy Maloka, CEO of the APRM Secretariat, Prof. Mahamoud Khayal, APR Panel Chairperson, and Dr. Admore Kambudzi, who represented Professor Malotsa, the Director, Department of Peace and Security, AUC. Professor Maloka expressed his thanks to the AGA Secretariat for co-hosting this event, recognised all the dignitaries in the room and extended particular welcome to the newly-appointed members of the APR Panel. The meeting started on the understanding that all participants are expected to contribute to the discussion not as representatives of countries but as African experts with a stake in the success of the Mechanism.
At the end of the two - day workshop, preliminary outcomes and summary of deliberations coming out of were presented. Key among these are:
- The need for closer collaboration between the APRM on the one hand, the AGA and APSA platforms on the other. The need to establish a joint APRM-AGA-APSA secretariat committee, that will meet quarterly to help coordinate and harmonise activities and operational tools within the context of AGA-APSA relationships; and to avoid duplication of effort for the different mechanisms through, e.g. the use of APRM national structures and processes for AGA/APSA-related mandates;
- The need to rethink the APRM review methodology with a view to cutting costs and producing shorter and targeted reports and to involve African national statistical authorities as well as the African Centre for Statistics within the UNECA so as to enhance our ability to rely on African data for African issues;
- The need to improve the relationships between RECs and the APRM, including the mainstreaming of APRM tools and assessment mechanisms into the RECs;
- The need to start thinking about rationalisation of the allocation of mandates and responsibilities between the different institutions and initiatives within the African Union and make use of the ongoing agenda for the reform of the African Union;
- The need for a coherent reporting and M&E framework and for the APRM to work with other institutions to deliver on its growing mandate; and based on this, there is the need to enhance the capacity of APRM institutions at all levels, continental, national and local. This includes having to build the APRM’s acknowledged diagnostic capability so as to also contribute to preventive diplomacy and early warning in the governance related challenges; and
- The need to shift from the question of whether the APRM can contribute to the monitoring and evaluation needs of the Continent in the areas of Agenda 20163 and SDGs to the how of carrying out those tasks. Based on this, there is an urgent need to establish an inter-institutional taskforce made up of APRM and its partner institutions.
The formation of APRM was informed by African Union Member States’ strong desire and firm commitment to the improvement of governance across the continent. The African Union Member States established the APRM in 2003 as a voluntary tool to assess political, economic and corporate governance, and socio-economic development in countries. It seeks to ensure that the policies and practices of participating states conform to African Union standards of transparency and accountability. This was to afford the continent a universally acceptable, self-regulating mechanism for dealing with emerging challenges and avoiding adverse external influences.
The ACBF is expected to play a key role in the inter-institutional taskforce that is to guide and support the APRM in its expanded role.