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Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has said that government is determined to boost the capacity of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in the performance of the needed analytical work that underpins targeted review processes.
She said this when Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, the Acting Chairman of the National African Peer Review Mechanism’s Governing Council (NAPRM-GC), led a delegation from the NAPRM-GC to pay a courtesy call on her.
APRM is a voluntary arrangement among African states to systematically assess and review governance at the Head of State peer level to promote political stability, accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration, economic growth, and sustainable development.
The meeting discussed the expanded mandate of the APRM, the need for increased resources, the Council’s membership, and the country’s plan for a targeted review.
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The meeting was to enable the Governing Council to seek the Minister’s opinion on the themes for the targeted review, to request for the Ministry’s support in obtaining legal backing for the work of the APRM, and also request the Ministry’s assistance for befitting office space and logistics to enhance the work of the Council.
Madam Botchwey acknowledged the expanded mandate of the APRM at the 28th African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government, held in January 2017, obligating the APRM to report on the implementation of the Agenda 2063, as well as Agenda 2030.
The reports would act as an early warning tool for conflict prevention in Africa within the context of harmony and synergy between the APRM, African Peace and Security Architecture, and the African Governance Architecture.
She recognized that the new mandates conform to the original obligation of the APRM, which was to ensure that policies and practices of AU Member States complied with the agreed values, codes and standards as contained in the African Union Declaration on Democracy, Economic, Political and Corporate Governance.
Noting the difficulty in the APRM’s Governing Council performing its mandates without any legal backing, the Minister assured that the government would take necessary action to gain the needed legal backing for the conduct of the Council’s business.
She hailed the efficiency and effectiveness displayed by the Governing Council in carrying out its mandates irrespective of the shortage in membership and logistics and indicated that the government had already taken steps to increase the Council’s membership to seven and provide it with the needed logistics to enhance its work.
She said the government was determined not to overstretch the current three Council members given the country’s targeted review and was hopeful that the Council would have its full complement before the start of the review process.
The Minister said she was aware of the selected targeted review themes, which are Trade, Education, Natural Resource Governance, Safeguarding the Environment as well as Public Health, and that the Ministry plans to charge the relevant stakeholders to identify the specific areas under the selected themes that needed to be reviewed for the attention of the President.