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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.

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.
South Africa is ready to host the biggest sporting event this continent has ever seen. Home-ground advantage and support might just lift the national team, Bafana Bafana, to progress beyond expectations to the knockout stages. The country will also benefit from improved roads, larger airports and brand new world-class stadia. But apart from these sporting and social benefits, the 2010 FIFA World Cup offers South Africa a chance to profit politically, by helping to improve its international image and encouraging all its citizens to unite behind a national project.
SAIIA Policy Briefing, No 17, May 2010
Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Dual Book Launch: Land Issues

South African Institute of International Affairs invites you to the launch of two new books, "The Struggle over Land in Africa - Conflicts, Politics and Change" and "Land, Liberation and Compromise in Southern Africa". Date: Tuesday 20 April 2010 Time: 16:15 for 16:30 until 18:00 Venue: Jan Smuts House, East Campus, University of Witwatersrand, RSVP: Please reply to Ndumi Nqunqa Tel: (011) 339 2021 ext 117
Review by Tšoeu PetlanePeering 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.
The economic rise of Asia has provoked an intermittent intellectual struggle that posits "Asian values" as opposed to Western ways. This debate masks the most under-discussed story of recent decades: Asia has risen through the creative embrace of key Western values, Western science and many aspects of governance – not through their rejection.
South African Institute of International Affairs cordially invites you to a Round Table Discussion to be addressed by His Excellency Mr H M Leteka, Former National African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Focal Point and Head of the National Governing Council (NGC) Secretariat, Kingdom of Lesotho on "Lessons from Lesotho's African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Experience". Venue: Jan Smuts House
Click here for the link on the UNDP, Oslo Governance Centre's Governance Assessment Portal, for details of the workshop held jointly by the UNDP, SAIIA and DIAL with the Government of Djibouti and key APRM stakeholders on 27-28 January 2010 (in French, with English summary)  
Thursday, 11 March 2010

Book Launch: Somaliland

The South African Institute of International Affairs and the Institute for Global Dialogue invites you to the launch of ‘Somaliland:  An African Struggle for Nationhood and International Recognition’ by Prof. Iqbal D Jhazbhay.Venue: Unisa Main Campus
South African Institute of International Affairs cordially invites you to a Round Table Discussion to be addressed by Dr Kojo Busia, Chief of the African Peer Review Support Section United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on "The African Peer Review Mechanism: Progress & Prospects"Venue: Jan Smuts House
As published in City Press  Sunday 7 February 2010 Sparks flew in dusty Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last weekend, as representatives of the 29 member states of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) – the continent’s home-grown governance promotion instrument – gathered for their biannual meeting on the fringes of the African Union (AU) Summit. Many APRM Focal Points – ministers and other senior officials – raised grave concerns about the transparency, integrity and governance of this innovative experiment.
Friday, 05 February 2010

The 14th AU Summit

The 14th African Union Summit took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 31 January to 2 February 2010. Its theme was “Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Africa: Challenges and Prospects for Development”. At the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Forum, held just before the Summit, South Africa presented its second report on the country's implementation of the APRM.
As published in The Mercury, 1 February 2010 In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 30 January 2010, President Jacob Zuma was scheduled to report to his peers regarding the implementation of the country’s National Programme of Action (NPoA), at the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Forum meeting that takes place on the fringes of the African Union (AU) Summit. This governance improvement plan (NPoA) emerged from South Africa’s first APRM exercise undertaken in 2005-2007. A key question is whether this second annual report will be a significant improvement over the first one, delivered at the same time last year. In a new…
SAIIA Occasional Paper, No 53, January 2010
Which way is governance going on the African continent and particularly in South Africa? According to the newly released 2009 African Governance Report (AGR-II), put together by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, it seems that many of the continent’s newly-established democracies are suffering from an authoritarian hangover. Overall, progress is marginal at best and mixed, and worryingly, South Africa is sliding slowly down the ranks. South Africa has many internal problems that it seems not willing or able to solve, which bring into question its aspirations for leadership in governance in Africa.
For the vast majority of Nigeria's population of more than 140 million, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) country review report for Nigeria published this week will have significance only if the media and civil society respond strongly to its findings, and if it is able to trigger substantial reforms.
Since the inauguration of President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet in May 2009, have there been discernable changes in South Africa’s foreign policy? President Thabo Mbeki loomed large on the international stage, with grand plans to reform the African continent and the global system beyond. With domestic issues being prioritised, and strong voices condemning Zuma as unfit to lead South Africa, how would he and his team perform? Several foreign affairs experts were asked to spot significant shifts in substance, or in style in the state’s international interactions.
SAIIA Occasional Paper, No 52, November 2009