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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 after the APRM was first conceived, Grappling with Governance: Perspectives on the African Peer Review Mechanism explores how this complex process has evolved from theory to practice in a variety of contexts. In a combination of case studies and transversal analysis, multiple voices from different African civil society actors — mainly analysts, activists and journalists — examine the process from their specialised perspective. The chapters tease out what can be learned about governance in Africa from these experiences, and the extent to which the APRM has changed the way that governments and civil society groups engage.

Published in Books
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 Africa), briefly describing the process, along with its major successes and failures. Even more welcome is the introductory chapter by AfriMAP’s director Ozias Tungwarara, which identifies common challenges of the APRM process and provides an analysis of common trends. He states that the overall verdict on the APRM thus far has been mixed, which is related to the fact that in most countries where the review took place, the process was driven and dominated by government. Tungwarara suggests that, “the research, report compilation, and implementation of the NPoA needs to be participatory so that it engenders a sense of ownership that is a vital principle of the APRM.”
Published in Opinion & Analysis

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.

Published in Opinion & Analysis

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 – at the end of the review each country embarks on implementing a National Programme of Action (NPoA), according to which it is supposed to carry out pre-agreed commitments aimed at improving governance.  To date, 30 African states have signed up to the APRM and 14 of these have undergone their first review – including four in Southern Africa (South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho and Mauritius).

Published in News & Announcements

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.

Published in Opinion & Analysis

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 developments included the incumbent chairperson of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons, Nigeria’s Professor Adebayo Adedeji, unexpectedly announcing his imminent retirement; new Panel members having their first exposure to the Forum (with the exception of Zambia’s Ambassador Dr Siteke Mwale, absent due to illness); and Mauritius, finally, becoming the thirteenth state to be peer reviewed. But participating states are regularly missing their deadlines for reporting on the implementation of their APRM National Programmes of Action (NPOAs), without consequences or public comment.

Published in Opinion & Analysis

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

SAIIA Policy Briefing, No 17, May 2010

Published in Policy Briefings

SAIIA Occasional Paper No 59, April 2010

Published in Occasional Papers
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.

Published in Opinion & Analysis

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

Published in Events

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) http://gaportal.org/djibouti-examine-les-lecons-des-pionniers-du-maep

 

Published in Events

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

Published in Events
Sunday, 07 February 2010

Peer Review Under Scrutiny

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.

Published in Opinion & Analysis
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.

Published in News & Announcements

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 publication titled “Off Track? Findings from South Africa’s First APRM Implementation Report”, the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) identifies deficiencies in South Africa’s first annual implementation report, meant to cover NPoA the period between November 2007 and December 2008. Our analysis suggests that the report suffers from three significant problems.

Published in Opinion & Analysis

SAIIA Occasional Paper, No 53, January 2010

Published in Occasional Papers

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.

Published in Opinion & Analysis