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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.

SAIIA Occasional Paper No 83, May 2011
Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development cordially invites you to a discussion forum on “New challenges, new opportunities: African agriculture in the 21st century”. Date: Tuesday, 3 May 2011Time: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.Venue: The Cape Sun, Cape Town
In April 2011, in the midst of upheavals and revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa, Rwandans commemorate the seventeenth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide - a period of 100 days during which over a million Rwandans were slaughtered. Although the country has made significant gains in reforming its socio-economic landscape and achieving increased gender parity, many observers argue that this has come at the expense of core political freedoms.
As published by The New Age on 11 March 2011 There is no doubt that the level of discontent around the world is rising to dangerous levels. Maybe that is what their leaders think, but it is clear, to use a contemporary term, revolution has gone viral. Not only are social networking and cellphone technology helping ordinary people, especially the youth, to arrange and coordinate protest movements and events, but these same technologies are spreading the word about what is happening in country after country.
As published by The New Age, 22 February 2011 For the past weeks the unfolding drama in the Middle East has dominated news reports and media commentary to exclusion of almost every other issue. And there is still no end in sight. As events reach a certain interim stage of resolution in one country, attention moves to another. Even as pundits attribute the problems in one country to a particular cause, the popular uprisings in another country seem to have a different cause.
This week the citizens of Uganda prepare to go to the polls for presidential and parliamentary elections on Friday, February 18. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is expected to win comfortably and the National Resistance Movement is likely to maintain its majority in Uganda’s Parliament. But there are a number of wide-ranging talking points linked to these elections.
While the world’s attention is focused on scenes of barricades in central Cairo, the political and media spotlight has finally come to illuminate the social crisis underlying the Arab worlds’ dictatorial regimes. In 2008, Queen Rania of Jordan warned that unemployed youth in the Arab world constitute a ‘ticking time bomb’ which, if not diffused, could lead to social unrest. She was correct, if events in Tunisia and Egypt are anything to go by.
SAIIA's APRM and Governance Programme is one of the impementing partners for the EU-funded Local Governance and Non-State Actors Support Programme(LGNSP) project  "Support to non-state actors (NSA) engagement in policy dialogue" in Lesotho. This project seeks to see partnerships enhanced between NSA in Lesotho, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Europe.  The project focuses on the Cotonou Agreement which is the key framework that governs relations between Lesotho and the European Union and which has the potential to provide a platform for North-South NSA cooperation and influence.  The regional dimension to the Cotonou Agreement’s relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries also…
Unlike the Egyptian proto-revolution playing out across the world’s television screens, the South African Parliament’s own Prague Spring may have come and gone almost imperceptibly. The post-1994 Parliaments can be periodised neatly. Replete with political galacticos, the founding democratic Parliament was characterised by political energy, vital debate and legislative renewal.
The theme for the upcoming 16th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa is “Towards Greater Unity and Integration through Shared Values”. Arguably, the success story of South-South cooperation around shared values is the African Peer Review Mechanism. It is the continent’s home-grown governance tracking system and will be re-examined when African leaders meet on the summit margins on 29 January 2011. (The African Union Summit takes place from 25 January until 31 January 2011 in Ethiopia).
The South African Institute of International Affairs Cordially invites you to the launch of its new book: ‘Grappling with Governance: Perspectives on the African Peer Review Mechanism’ edited by Steven Gruzd.Venue: The Grace Hotel, 54 Bath Ave, Rosebank, Johannesburg
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) and the Africa Governance, Monitoring and Advocacy Project (AfriMAP) cordially invite you to a training workshop entitled ‘Empowering Civil Society to Track the African Peer Review Mechanism in South Africa’, which will take place on 25 January 2011 at The Grace Hotel, Rosebank, Johannesburg.Venue: The Grace Hotel, Seringa Room
Born out of the optimism at the new millennium that Africa’s time had come, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), a tool designed to promote good governance on the continent, is built on the belief that the continent does not lack ideas to advance its development, but that states have struggled to live up to their principles and implement their policies. The APRM rests on the fundamental belief that good governance is a precondition for taking Africa out of its spiral of conflict, underdevelopment, poverty and increasing marginalisation in a globalised world. Looking in the rear-view mirror almost a decade…
The fate of media self-regulation in South Africa now rests with parliament. At inception, South Africa’s post-apartheid press laws and regulatory framework were moulded on international precedent established by thriving democracies such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Supported by the one of the world’s most liberal constitutions, South Africa seems to be failing to uphold these high standards. Will South Africa show the world that it is still committed to media freedom?
Wednesday, 08 December 2010

Southern Sudan’s Referendum 2010

On the 9th of January 2011 Southern Sudan will vote in a landmark referendum to decide whether or not to become an independent state. During the 54 years since gaining independence in 1956, Sudan has experienced two civil wars that lasted 39 years in total. The 9 January referendum is a crucial component of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (the CPA, signed in 2005) and could, potentially, redraw the political map of the country and the continent.
AfriMAP’s “The African Peer Review Mechanism: A compilation of studies of the process in nine African countries” is exactly what its title claims to be – a collection of research papers, which provide an in-depth overview of the APRM process in nine countries. In terms of both content and scope, this is unprecedented, as the studies provide a detailed description of the APRM process, relationships between key actors and perceptions of success, or the lack of it. A useful short summary precedes each study (the nine countries covered are Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda and South…
Review by Tšoeu Petlane Peering the Peers is a collection of contributions from a conference on the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) hosted by the Electoral Institute for the Sustainability of Democracy in Africa (EISA) in Maputo, Mozambique in 2008. The authors are academics and practitioners involved in studying and implementing this voluntary African-owned governance improvement initiative. They are well-suited to provide both the breadth of scope and depth of understanding of the processes of the APRM and its thematic content, as well as the dynamics of relationships among governments and civil society groups.
On 12–13 October 2010 SAIIA and the Centre for Policy Studies jointly held a scoping workshop entitled Developing the Capacity of Civil Society to Track the Implementation of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). The two organisations have co-operatively launched a project to empower civil society in Southern African APRM signatory states to track the implementation of the APRM in their countries, known as the APRM Monitoring Project (AMP).
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) cordially invite you to a scoping workshop entitled “Developing the Capacity of Civil Society to Track the Implementation of the African Peer Review Mechanism”, which will take place on 12-13 October 2010 at SAIIA’s head office at Jan Smuts House, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. The keynote address will be given by the Minister of Public Service and Administration and South Africa’s African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Focal Point, the Honorable Minister Richard Baloyi.
This project is funded by the Open Society Foundation of South Africa (OSF-SA), the Open Society Initiative in Southern Africa (OSISA) and the African Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Programme (AfriMAP). The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) was established in 2003 as an innovative instrument aimed at improving governance in Africa, created and driven by Africans for Africans. Through a series of voluntary governance “peer reviews”, member states aim at collectively improving governance on the continent through sharing best practices and following recommendations made by the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons.  The intention of these reviews is to spur reform –…
On 24 July 2010, Africa’s leaders gathered for the 13th meeting of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Forum, on the shores of Lake Victoria. Observers were watching closely for signals of the health and future trajectory of this process.
As published on on 12 August 2010 Kenya's referendum to decide on a new constitution ended a decades-long, tortuous journey to reach a basic law to regulate the country's politics and give voice to all its citizens. A referendum in 2005 had rejected a new constitution, but the biggest crisis came at the end of 2007, when unprecedented post-election violence threatened to rip apart the political and social fabric of the once stable and prosperous East African country. Will a new constitution put Kenya back on the road to stability and prosperity?
An edited version of this article appeared in City Press, 1 August 2010 While conflicts in Somalia and Sudan dominated the headlines, governance in Africa also came under discussion on the sidelines of the 15th African Union (AU) Summit, held on the shimmering shores of Lake Victoria at the luxurious Munyonyo Resort outside Kampala, Uganda. The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) – Africa’s premier home-grown governance and accountability tool – held its thirteenth Summit of the Forum of Participating Heads of State and Government (the APR Forum) on 24 July 2010, just before the Summit proper kicked off. Some key…
Edited by Victoria Ayer, Mario Claasen and Carmen Alpín-Lardíes (Idasa & ANSA-Africa, 2010), Social Accountability in Africa: Practitioners’ Experiences and Lessons is a collection of case studies from Africa on social accountability. This collection attempts to build a consolidated body of knowledge on social accountability efforts across the continent. The case studies are diverse and present unique approaches to how social accountability strategies and interventions are implemented within different countries. SAIIA was commissioned to undertake the initial research, editing and management of this book.
The APRM: Taking Peer Learning to the Next Level & Launch of Two New APRM Books You are cordially invited to attend an international workshop for African civil society interested in the African Peer Review Mechanism, jointly hosted by: Africa Governance Monitoring & Advocacy Programme (AfriMAP) Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA) Institut Africain de la Gouvernance/Africa Governance Institute (IAG-AGI) Kituo Cha Katiba (Eastern Africa Centre for Constitutional Development (KCK)) South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) Venue: the Golf Course Hotel
Democracy and Political Party Systems: Opinion Editorials Kickstarting the Peace Process By Ayesha Kajee Published by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, 16 May 2007
Consolidating Parliamentary Democracy in SADC SAIIA’s Consolidating Parliamentary Democracy in SADC project was a Danish government-funded research, conference and publications project running from 2003 to 2007. The central aim of the project was to better understand the relationship between parliaments and civil society within SADC and to utilise the findings of the research and conferences to suggest practical methods of strengthening these relationships.
Amid the excitement of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, an announcement by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in June 2010 that it has again decided not to award its lucrative annual governance prize this year went almost unnoticed, at least in South Africa. This is the second year running when no winner was selected. Is African governance on the decline if one of the continent’s highest-profile governance foundations cannot find worthy recipients?
The global system has undergone significant changes in the past two decades since the collapse of the Berlin Wall. It is no longer pivoted just on the advanced industrial powers such as the US, Europe and Japan. Although these countries are still the driving force of global policy making, new centres of power are emerging, and power in the global system is diffused. This change is here to stay. Developed countries recognise that these emerging contours of complex interdependence are necessary to manage global governance. They are particularly important for responding to pressing issues of climate change, energy, economic and…
The Lesotho Democracy Programme (LDP), funded by the Royal Danish Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, is a joint initiative of the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Transformation Resource Centre.