African Parliamentarians Engage in Peer Learning In Africa’s Premier Self- Monitoring and Accountability Mechanism
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ECA Press Release No. 33/2010

Addis Ababa, 11 May 2010 (ECA) – African Parliamentarians will tomorrow in Addis Ababa, begin a three-day peer-learning workshop to improve their knowledge and skills in the self-monitoring mechanism established by the African Union to assess performance in political, economic, corporate and socio-economic governance in African countries that accede to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). 

The APRM has been called African innovative thinking on governance whereby national stakeholders hold one-another accountable for good governance and suggest a programme of action to correct perceived deficits or challenges. 

Organized and sponsored by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), the workshop’s theme is “Enhancing the role and effective participation of Parliamentarians in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Process”

It is targeted at members of parliament from 16 French and Portuguese- speaking African countries that have acceded to the APRM process, representatives from Regional Economic Communities and the APRM Secretariat.

The main objective of the training workshop is to enhance the participation and effectiveness of parliamentarians in the APRM process in participating countries. By so doing, the parliaments would be empowered to oversee the implementation of the national self-assessment stages and the National Plan of Action (NPoA) in their respective countries.

The training will provide delegates opportunities to exchange views, share country-specific experiences and learn from one another.  It will emphasize the need to build strategic coalitions between parliamentarians and civil society organization to improve the level of citizen engagement in the APRM as a whole.

The Governance and Public Administration Division (GPAD) director said that this meeting is targeting African Parliamentarians as critical stakeholders of the APRM process.  “The APRM is Africa’s innovative approach to building and institutionalizing the process of good governance on the continent. The mechanism has the unprecedented potential in catalyzing a new democratic political and civic culture of ethics and accountability in public political life in Africa” emphasized Abdallah Hamdok. 
 

Background
 
Considered to be the most innovative and important element of the African Union’s NEPAD initiative, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) was launched in march 2003 to address governance challenges facing Africa including systemic political rigidity characterized by executive dominance; political exclusion, especially in the executive and legislature; economic governance; and conflicts- pointing to an urgent need to improve all aspects of governance in the continent.

APRM is an instrument voluntarily adopted by African states to assess the quality and status of governance in the participating countries. It takes a comprehensive view of peer review of a country’s governance system. As an instrument for building broad-based consensus on the challenge of national development, the success of the APRM depends on the extent to which all the relevant stakeholders (Civil society organizations, media, trade unions, parliaments, women groups, etc.) will fully participate in the process.

To that end, the process requires in particular the participation of parliaments, which are key institutions of democracy. The APRM’s guidelines require that parliaments should play a key role in the APRM as stakeholders in governance and development, and should form partnership with civil society to improve its role in both the assessment and implementation phases of the APRM.

 

 

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ECA Information and Communication Service
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Addis Ababa
Ethiopia

Tel: 251 11 5445098
Fax: +251-11-551 03 65
E-mail: ecainfo@uneca.org
Web: www.uneca.org 

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