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Thursday, 24 November 2011

African Solutions: Best Practices from the African Peer Review Mechanism


A new book released by the South African Institute of International Affairs and published by Jacana Media examines the governance success stories of a number of African states. Entitled "African Solutions: Best Practices from the African Peer Review Mechanism", the book is the outcome of research into the policies, programmes and experiences identified as "best practices" from the first 12 countries that published Country Review Reports (CRRs) under the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). These countries are Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda. The APRM was conceived as a voluntary mechanism and, in the absence of 'hard pressure' for compliance, incentives - rather than sanctions - could be the way to strengthen governance on the continent.

Thus, "best practices" are important as potential models for reform, and to counterbalance the temptation to concentrate on what is not working in Africa. In this book, the best practices identified in the CRRs are examined critically and methodically with a view to understanding:

• How "best practices" are conceptualised within the APRM (including how they are intended to be used to achieve the desired results);

• Whether the reported practices qualify as "best practices" by being demonstrably better than the rest, replicable and addressing APRM goals,

• How these practices could be strengthened to be used as material for peer learning within the APRM and across the continent.

Edited by Tšoeu Petlane and Steven Gruzd, the contributors to the African Solutions book are drawn from academia and policy research institutions in Africa, who have all been associated with studying and working on the APRM in various capacities. (Read a SAIIA Diplomatic Pouch article called African Solutions and Twitter Revolutions by Yarik Turianskyi)         


 Download Chapter 1 of Africa Solutions: Best Practices from the African Peer Review Mechanism 

To purchase this book please contact SAIIA's Publications Department or Jacana Media


 About the editors:

Tšoeu Petlane is the former deputy programme head of SAIIA's Governance and APRM Programme from January 2009 until January 2011. He is a political scientist by training, with an MA from Carleton University, in Ottawa. Previously, he held the position of Research Fellow and Head of Research at the Institute of Southern African Studies, National University of Lesotho (NUL). He taught Political Science and Development Studies at NUL, specialising in International Political Economy, Africa's International Relations and Research Methods. He also served as the Research Coordinator for the Lesotho APRM Country Self-Assessment under the APRM. Tšoeu is currently an independent consultant based in Maseru, Lesotho.

Steven Gruzd is the former head of the Governance and African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Programme at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) from May 2008 to June 2011. He joined the Institute in 2003, and is currently a SAIIA research associate. He holds an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science and an honours and BA degree from the University of the Witwatersrand. He co-authored "The African Peer Review Mechanism: Lessons from the Pioneers," the first major study of the APRM with Ross Herbert in 2008, and edited "Grappling with Governance: Perspectives on the African Peer Review Mechanism" in 2011.