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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.

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
Co-published with the Institute for Global Dialogue Somaliland has been described as an ‘inspiring story of resilience and reconstruction, and a truly African Renaissance, that has many lessons to teach the rest of Africa and the international community’. This study seeks to identify some of those lessons, particularly those pertaining to Somaliland’s sustained efforts to create internal unity and gain regional and international recognition. Based on extensive research in Somaliland, as well as a wealth of experience in the wider region, this book provides a vivid insight into this intriguing tale of reconciliation, reconstruction, religion, and recognition.
Seven years after it was established at the inaugural African Union (AU) Summit in Durban in July 2002, how has the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) –  the continent’s voluntary home-grown governance monitoring tool – fared? Why have some states not acceded? What has been achieved? And what challenges does this process face? 
The South African Institute of International Affairs Western Cape Branch invites you to a public seminar to be addressed by Vincent Williams on 'The Politics of Migration and its Implications for Democracy' at 5:00 for 5:30 pm.
As published on All Africa on 5 October 2009 Last week the citizens of Somaliland were due to have elected their president for the next five years. However, they did not get to the polls, since elections were postponed for the fourth time. What does the future hold for the self-declared, independent, and unrecognised Somaliland in the Horn of Africa?
SAIIA Occasional Paper, No 43, September 2009 (English)
The Gabonese Minister of Interior’s announcement that Ali-Ben Bongo Ondimba, candidate for the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) and son of Gabon’s late President Omar Bongo, has won the 30 August presidential election came as no surprise to many Gabonese and observers of the country’s politics. The final tally gave Bongo 41.7 percent of the vote, with the main contenders, Andre Mba Obame and Pierre Mambounda receiving 25.8 and 25.2 percent respectively. But in the country, this verdict has been met with protests in the streets of the capital, Libreville, and clashes with police in other towns as opposition supporters…
As published in Kenya recently completed a controversial census that enquired into, among other things, the ethnicity of its citizens. For Kenya's Human Rights Commission and other organisations, probing ethnic origins poured salt on fresh wounds, even though for minority groups such as the Ogiek people, reliable statistics on their numbers would help policymakers develop relevant solutions to the Ogiek's often obscure needs as a hunter-gatherer community. However, the furore over this one part of the census questionnaire obscures a more important subject – Kenya's persistent inequality.
SAIIA Occasional Paper, No 39, August 2009 (English)
SAIIA Occasional Paper, No 39, August 2009 (French)
As published in Gabon goes to the polls to elect a new president on Sunday, nearly three months after the death of President Omar Bongo Ondimba at the age of 73. Bongo was Africa's longest-ruling president, having come to power in 1967. He had won his latest presidential term of seven years in 2005 with almost 80 percent of the vote, against a weak opposition. The current poll pits Bongo's son, Ali-Ben, against no fewer than 20 rivals. Given the history of his father's dominance and the fractious nature of opposition politics in the oil-rich country, Ali Bongo is…
From 1 July 2009 cellphone service providers in South Africa cannot activate a new SIM card without the full name, address and identity number of the customer. Existing SIM cards must be registered within 18 months. The new registration law is aimed at assisting law enforcement agencies to investigate and combat serious crime by ensuring that the identity and whereabouts of every SIM card owner is known to foil and investigate criminal activity. Customer information must be kept in a secure database for a minimum of three years, accessible only to selected personnel. But does monitoring criminal activity threaten our…