Midrand, South Africa, 20 October 2014 - The Fifth Ordinary Session of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) has adopted a resolution to strengthen its engagement with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) for effective promotion of the Mechanism among its Parliamentarians and Member States.
The Session was opened on 20 October 2014 in Midrand, South Africa by Honorable Roger Nkodo Dang, the First Vice-president of PAP and will end on 24 Oct 2014.
The PAP resolution seeks to reinforce collaborative efforts with the APRM by creating and increasing awareness in national parliaments, ensuring sufficient allocation for APRM in national Budgets, domesticating the APRM process as well as ensuring broad stakeholder participation in the Mechanism.
In his remarks, First Vice-president of the African Parliament, Honorable Nkodo Dang, who presided over the proceedings, urged Parliamentarians to demonstrate their commitment to the Mechanism by ensuring the existence of a vibrant and dynamic APRM Process in their respective countries. Honorable Nkodo Dang emphasized that both PAP and APRM play important roles in supporting continental development, adding that there is a potential role that PAP should play in the successful implementation of the APRM Process in Member Countries.
A resolution which was earlier made by the Justice and Human Rights and the Cooperation and International Relations Committees states that the Pan African Parliament shall ensure that the APRM Process is allocated sufficient funds in the National Budget. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency, and Interim CEO of APRM, Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki emphasized that the resolution will propel APRM to greater heights in terms of African governance. He said “PAP and APRM are one in terms of governance, promotion of human rights, Development, Conflict Prevention and Resolution, and we should endeavour to strengthen this partnership and collaboration”. He reiterated the commitment of the APR Secretariat to this noble ideal.
In his address Dr. Mayaki called on PAP to ensure that PAP and Regional Communities allocate sufficient budget for APRM, as well as encouraging other non-APRM member countries to accede to the mechanism.
He expressed his appreciation to the South African Institute for International Affairs (SAIIA) and African Regional Office (AFRO-OSISA) for devoting their energies to forging relationships with PAP and APRM in order to improve governance in Africa.
The resolution further states that Pan African Parliament shall undertake to ensure that National governments domesticate, through legislation, the APRM process in order to enhance implementation, and encourage a dynamic public participation in the APRM process. This move will assist in creating closer cooperation between countries and National APRM structures in promoting the dissemination of information, as well as consolidating the implementation of the APRM Process in acceding countries.
In addition, PAP shall table and discuss Country Review and Progress Reports in Parliament. At the Regional and Pan African Parliament levels, PAP members shall become fully engaged in APRM processes, with special focus on the monitoring of the implementation of the National Programmes of Action (NPoAs).
The Pan African Parliament has also undertaken to establish a Network of Parliamentarians whose sole mandate will be to Champion Good Governance in Africa. The Pan African Network (PAN) is expected to hold regular APRM Forums wherein among other issues APRM Country Review reports, NPOAs and cross cutting issues that arise from the Country Review Reports, are discussed. PAN will enable both organizations to push for reforms that can enhance socio-economic transformation, and good governance at the national and regional levels.
About the APRM
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), an initiative of the African Union, was established in March 2003 by the then Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC) of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). It is an instrument for self-monitoring and good governance for Member States. Currently, the APRM has thirty-four (34) member states that have voluntarily acceded. Of these, seventeen (17) have completed their self-assessment exercise and have been peer-reviewed by the Forum of Heads of State and Government (APR Forum).
The Pan-African Parliament was established in March 2004 as one of the nine Organs provided for in the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community signed in Abuja, Nigeria, in 1991. Pan-African Parliament is informed by a vision to provide a common platform for African peoples and their grass-roots organizations to be more involved in discussions and decision-making on the problems and challenges facing the continent. The ultimate aim of the Pan-African Parliament is to evolve into an institution with full legislative powers, whose members are elected by universal adult suffrage.