February 19, 2010

Download the report, in French only.

This guide is published jointly by PAC and INADES-Formation to enable African civil society organizations to learn about the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and to encourage them to become involved in its implementation. The APRM is an instrument by which African states and all public and private institutions of a given country examine their political, economic and social performance and then decide how to make improvements. Civil society is one of the pillars of the APRM.

In July 2002 in Durban, South Africa, the African Union adopted the Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance. The Declaration says: “Africa faces grave challenges and the most urgent of these are the eradication of poverty and the fostering of socio-economic development, in particular, through democracy and good governance.” The declaration ends with the following commitment: “We have agreed to establish an African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) on the basis of voluntary accession. The APRM seeks to promote adherence to and fulfilment of the commitments contained in this Declaration. The Mechanism spells out the institutions and processes that will guide future peer reviews, based on mutually agreed codes and standards of democracy, political, economic and corporate governance.”

Thirty countries have joined the APRM, totalling some 75% of the continent’s population. Twelve countries have already submitted all aspects of their governance to a close evaluation by their own citizens and by African experts designated by the APRM. These self-evaluations have led to the creation of action plans that aim to solve the important governance problems identified. These first experiences have been very positive because civil society has become very involved at each stage of the implementation of the APRM process. But these experiences have also shown that this involvement is not always easy. Civil society has to face a lack of political will on the part of governments, and its own limited knowledge of the APRM and lack of capacity to fully engage in the process.

This guide offers some answers to these difficulties. It explains in simple language how the APRM works and it describes the role of civil society organizations in its implementation. In addition, it offers some suggestions to help civil society play its role successfully.

Partnership Africa Canada also publishes a newsletter – The APRM Monitor – which gives news and opinions about the APRM. To receive this newsletter electronically, and for any other question, please contact PAC at the following address: info@pacweb.org

Partnership Africa Canada – Partenariat Afrique Canada
331 Cooper St., Suite 600, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 0G5. Canada
Tel: +1.613.237.6768
Fax: +1.613.237.6530