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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.

‘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.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 212, March 2015
The Sharpeville Massacre is deeply engrained in the pages of South African history. The events of 21 March 1960 are now commemorated on Human Rights Day.
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 130, March 2015
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) – the continent’s governance assessment and monitoring tool – turns 12 on 9 March 2015. This anniversary commemorates the meeting in Abuja, Nigeria in 2003 that officially inaugurated the APRM, and saw the voluntary accession of the first member states.
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 129, March 2015
The African Union’s emerging 50-year development plan, Agenda 2063, aims to cap a century of the organisation’s work with a thoroughly transformed continent. A central theme is the integration of the AU’s 54 member states, opening up borders, merging markets and speaking with a common voice in global fora.
SAIIA Report No 18, January 2015  Download - English (401.27 kB) Governance and APRM ProgrammeRegional integration has long been recognised as an important vehicle for Africa’s development; currently, the African Union (AU) officially intends achieving a continent-wide common market by 2023 and a currency union by 2018. One of the goals of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the continent’s indigenous governance assessment system, is to promote regional integration. The enquiries it has made into the integration attempts and experiences of the 19 countries that have undergone review so far provide valuable new insights.
Africa may be rising, but its success is primarily measured by economic growth and development, while discourse on democratisation is far less prominent than at the onset of the new millennium. At the same time, many African states are forging ever-deeper ties with emerging powers that seem to place little value on democracy and human rights.
On Friday 30 January, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe was appointed the new chair of the African Union. His appointment was made during the annual two-day heads of state summit at the African Union's headquarters in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 209, January 2015
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 120, December 2014
Global experience in the last century demonstrated that it is possible for societies to move rapidly from poverty to prosperity. The past decade has seen growing hope that Africa may be on the cusp of emulating these experiences.
Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Getting Down to Business

The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) recognises that a well-designed system of corporate governance is essential for creating an environment that at once enables profitable business and keeps business behaviour within responsible boundaries – together, the preconditions for development. To explore this, it devotes an entire thematic area to corporate governance, but to date this topic has tended to attract relatively little attention.
A new report on Corporate Governance in Southern Africa by the South African Institute of International Affairs was launched this week in both Zambia and South Africa.