The APRM is a voluntary Governance “Self-Assessment” by African countries, which was agreed upon by African Union (AU) and adopted in 2003. Kenya signed the APRM memorandum of understanding in March 2003 and in 2006, it became the third African state to be Peer reviewed at AU Banjul Summit.
The APRM process is an important framework for good governance in Africa aimed at championing transformative leadership through the sharing of experiences amongst member countries.
To date 37 countries have acceded to this mechanism. Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Mauritius were the first four countries to be peer reviewed.
The APRM has four thematic areas (Four measures of performance and progress):
- Democracy and Political Governance
- Economic Governance and Management
- Corporate Governance
- Socio-economic Development
STAGES OF THE REVIEW PROCESS
APRM follows a five-stage process. These stages are:
- Country “Self-Assessment” – This is conducted using a domesticated questionnaire (guidelines) developed by the APRM Continental Secretariat based on the four thematic pillars (Democracy and Political Governance; Economic Governance and Management; Corporate Governance and Socio-Economic Development). The assessment entails countrywide consultations with key stakeholders.
- Country Review Mission – On receipt of the draft report, the Country Review Team (CRT) visits the country to validate the “Self-Assessment” Report. The mission holds countrywide consultations with Government officials, women representatives, Political parties, Parliamentarians, Civil Society Organizations, Development Partners, Media, Academia, Trade unions, Business and Professional bodies.
- Preparation of Draft Report – The CRT produces a Draft Report informed by the consultations and the Self-Assessment Report.
The Draft report is first discussed with the Government to ensure accuracy of the information and to provide the Government with an opportunity to react to the Team’s findings. The Government prepares a Country response and a National Plan of Action (NPoA) is appended to the report.
- Peer Review at APR Forum/ Summit – Country Review Report is submitted to the participating Heads of State and Government through the APRM Secretariat. This stage entails consideration and adoption of the final report by the participating Heads of State and Government.
- Adoption and Circulation of Report – Six months after adoption, the report is formally and publicly circulated to key regional and sub-regional bodies such as AU, the Pan-African Parliament and UN Agencies. The Adopted report is then disseminated to key stakeholders.
- PERIODICITY AND TYPES OF PEER REVIEWS
There are four types of peer reviews;
- Base review, first country review is carried out within 18 months of a country becoming a member of the APRM process.
- Periodic review, which takes place every two to four years.
- Requested Review, a member country can for its own reasons, ask for a review that is not part of the periodically mandated reviews.
- Lastly, Political or Economic crisis in a member country can necessitate a Special review (A Review commissioned by the APR Forum)