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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.

In 2013, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) celebrates its 10th 2013. SAIIA's Yarik Turianskyi speaks to Kojo Busia, Chief of UNECA's APRM Support Section, ahead of the January African Union Summit and APRM Forum about the mechanism's past, present and future. Download the podcast [Duration: 11min 40sec]
How much difference does one year make? In September 2011, the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the Africa Governance, Monitoring and Advocacy Project (AfriMAP) jointly launched a report examining governance in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, through the prism of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). The report was entitled Implementing the APRM: Views from Civil Society: Lesotho Report. 
In dusty Dakar with its litter-strewn streets and heady interlaced smells of spice and goats, an astounding transformation is taking place which holds invaluable lessons for the rest of the continent. In the face of rising impunity and violence, increasing abuses of power, commodity price hikes, power failures and the rising fatalism of society in general and the youth in particular, a small group of young men have committed themselves to the restoration of a civic political culture and an accountable government.
South Africa contested two continental positions during the recent summit in Addis Ababa. While the country spectacularly failed in one, it quietly won continent-wide support for its bid to serve on one of Africa's most innovative and important governance mechanisms that has evolved over the last 10 years.
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…
The Arab Spring brought about regime change in three African states – Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Popular uprisings in other states — Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Morocco and Swaziland — underscored growing public dissatisfaction about the state of governance in their countries. These events served as a re-confirmation that African citizens will not tolerate oppressive and authoritarian rule. However, short of taking to the streets, when societies believe that the ballot box will serve to subvert rather than validate their concerns, does Africa have other tools to advance governance reforms in the region, hold politicians accountable and…
MM Review Publishing Company & the University of Pretoria’s Department of Political Sciences Invite you to "Two Sides of the Same Coin; Political Activism in Lesotho and Swaziland". A fascinating and informative dialogue with leading academics and political analysts some of whom have provided chapters in the book, Against all Odds: Opposition Political Parties in Southern Africa edited by Hussein Solomon. (Published by KMMR and The South African Institute of International Affairs). When: Wednesday, 14 September 2011Time: 17:30 for 18:00Where: Conference Hall, 100 at Pretoria University
What has changed in Lesotho’s governance since it underwent the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) country review in 2009? To answer this question, the APRM Monitoring Project (AMP) – run jointly by the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) and the Africa Governance, Monitoring and Advocacy Project (AfriMAP) - presents “Implementing the APRM: Views from Civil Society - The Lesotho Report.” This report represents the views of researchers and civil society organisations that have analysed the country’s APRM profile and tracked the implementation of its National Programme of Action (NPoA). The report finds…
Opposition parties are vital to the functioning of democracies as they provide a representative system of the electorate while keeping ruling parties accountable. Through this important legislative role, the political system gains legitimacy. However, opposition parties across the Southern African region confront many challenges in their attempt to function effectively, which often results in incumbent parties growing increasingly arrogant, centralising power, failing to distinguish between party and state interests and ignoring constructive criticism from the opposition and broader civil society. Against All Odds: Opposition Political Parties in Southern Africa is the latest publication from KMM Review Publishing Company in association…
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) and the African Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Project (AfriMAP) cordially invite you to the launch of the South African APRM Monitoring Project (AMP) Report on Tuesday 28 June 2011 at the Pan African Parliament, 19 Richards Drive, Gallagher Estate, Midrand, commencing at 10:00am.
During the 17th African Union Summit in tropical Malabo, Equatorial Guinea from 23 June to 1 July 2011, governance will once again come under the spotlight. On 29 June, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Forum of Heads of State and Government convene, where Zambia is set to become the 15th country to be peer reviewed, a revised APRM Questionnaire is being considered, and many states will report on implementing their National Programmes of Action. Governance gaps will also be considered in Midrand, South Africa on 28 June, when the APRM Monitoring Project (AMP) – run jointly by SAIIA, the…
During the 17th African Union Summit in tropical Malabo, Equatorial Guinea from 23 June to 1 July 2011, governance will once again come under the spotlight. On 29 June, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Forum of Heads of State and Government convene, where Zambia is set to become the 15th country to be peer reviewed, a revised APRM Questionnaire is being considered, and many states will report on implementing their National Programmes of Action. Governance gaps will also be considered in Midrand, South Africa on 28 June, when the APRM Monitoring Project (AMP) – run jointly by SAIIA, the…
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).