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Governance and APRM Programme

Good governance assists countries to adhere to the rule of law, enhance economic performance and minimise conflict. This programme seeks to stimulate informed discussion and insightful research on governance in Africa, through the lens of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the continent’s innovative governance monitoring and promotion instrument. The GAP programme also works with civil society organisations to strengthen their interest and meaningful participation in the APRM and related processes in the emerging African Governance Architecture (AGA). We aim to improve the ability of the APRM to contribute to governance reforms, institutions and processes. As a result SAIIA is widely seen as the leading independent authority on the APRM.

The current programme is a collaboration between SAIIA and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA). GAP also works with the APRM Secretariat on a project to enhance the interaction of the Pan-African Parliament with the APRM.

On 29 January 2016, a group of Africa’s Heads of State and Government met in Addis Ababa to determine the fate of one of the AU’s most daring initiatives. At stake was the future relevance of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).
Events globally, across Africa, and in South Africa – urban riots in France in 2005 and Britain in 2011, the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings, student protests in South Africa last year – have thrust the youth into the centre of political attention. Nowhere is this more important than in Africa, where one in five of its people are between the ages of 15 and 24, and whose population is the youngest on earth.
SAIIA Policy Briefing 146, January 2016
A new book by SAIIA, African Accountability: What Works and What Doesn’t?, focuses on political and social developments to assess the current state of governance and accountability in Africa.
On 24 November 2015, South Africa’s Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, gave the keynote speech at the launch of SAIIA's book, 'African Accountability: What Works and What Doesn't.'
SAIIA has published a new book, African Accountability: What Works and What Doesn’t? to assess the current state of governance and accountability in Africa.
SAIIA has launched a new book, African Accountability: What Works and What Doesn't, with South Africa’s Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela.
It’s that time of the year again: the month that marks 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. Familiar terms again dominate the discourse: violence against women, gender-based violence, sexual violence, intimate partner violence and domestic violence.
Ahead of the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign (25 November - 10 December), Ugandan human rights lawyer Laura Nyirinkindi paid a visit to SAIIA. Nyirinkindi has been working on combating violence against women in Africa for the last ten years.
On 11 November 2015, SAIIA will hold a media briefing on 'G20: From Turkey to China – taking stock and looking forward'.
Since independence, most African states have struggled to develop effective institutions that are responsive to the governance and development needs of their respective societies. This challenge is reflected not only in the prevalence of social and political strife in many African countries, but also in the poor socio-economic performance of the continent as a whole. The same could be said of the slow progress towards greater regional and continental integration, which, to a large extent is symptomatic of a weak institutional culture across the continent.
‘Change’ was the word de jour as citizens headed to the polls for the fifth multi-party elections in Tanzania on 25 October 2015. At first glance, Tanzania seems to be a country on a clear trajectory to prosperity – maintaining a GDP growth rate of around 7 percent. Despite this impressive macroeconomic growth, distribution of wealth has been inadequate and poverty levels remain high. So did these polls deliver anything different?
In February 2016, Uganda will go to the polls. It is only the country’s third election held since the constitutional restoration of multi-party democracy in 2005 and it is widely expected to be one of the most contentious. How might Uganda’s participation in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) contribute to better elections?
On 26 October 2015, SAIIA is holding a Roundtable Discussion on ‘Gender and Governance in Africa: Findings from 16 countries’.
‘African unity’ has been one of the most consistent themes in African political thought. Since independence, the vision of a continental order stretching from Cape Town to Cairo and from Dakar to Dar es Salaam has been an entrancing one. Africa, rather than being a geographical descriptor, would be a geopolitical identity.
Last week, four Country Review Reports were tabled at a Pan-African Parliament Plenary Session. This represents a crucial step forward for governance in Africa.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 222, September 2015
Why is the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the continent’s most important governance assessment and promotion tool, in the doldrums?
From 25 to 27 September, over 150 world leaders will gather in New York to set the agenda for global development spending for the next 15 years, valued at over 2.5 trillion US dollars. The aim is to tackle the most debilitating issues holding back economic growth from poverty to lack of power.
South Africa has seldom approached Heritage Day with a more fractured sense of what constitutes our heritage and what should be celebrated. Angry exchanges over the character of our universities, language policy, public memorials and so on have exposed the divides that run through our society and have even called into question whether we are one nation.
The sudden cancellation of an Extraordinary Summit on the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) raises serious concerns about the future of this important home-grown African governance and accountability tool. Nairobi was scheduled to host the APRM Forum of Heads of State and Government on 10-11 September 2015.
SAIIA Policy Briefing 141, August 2015
Since its institution in 1989, World Population Day on 11 July has drawn attention to the Earth’s rising population, and the demographic and social trends accompanying it. These serious and complex matters address the opportunities and hurdles confronting countries’ development aspirations. Nowhere is this of more profound – even existential – importance than in Africa.
A special workshop for regional stakeholders, ‘The African Peer Review Mechanism in Southern Africa: Exploring Synergies with the Southern African Development Community,’ was held on 20-21 May 2015 in Gaborone, Botswana.
This year’s Africa Day commemorations on 25 May – celebrating the founding of the Organisation of African Unity in Ethiopia in 1963 – occur against the backdrop of deadly xenophobic attacks in South Africa. A governance assessment of South Africa under the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in 2007 emphasised these underlying tensions with foreign nationals.
Combating gender-based violence was a key theme raised by African countries at the March 2015 session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland. It is clear that this is a serious problem across the continent, as speeches from leaders from South Africa to Egypt demonstrated.