President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as chairperson of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Forum, has turned over to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta after two years at the helm.
On Saturday, June 13, the Liberian leader presided over her final meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa as Chairperson of the APRM.
The APRM is composed of the forum that brings together Heads of States from various countries and a Panel of Eminent Persons that conducts the peer review, while the Secretariat runs the day to day affairs of the African Peer Review Mechanism. President Sirleaf was elected two years ago by Heads of States and Governments of the African Union that have acceded to the APRM Process.
According to a dispatch from Johannesburg, South Africa, Saturday’s meeting witnessed statements from President Sirleaf, who chaired the APRM Forum, President Uhuru Kenyatta, who served as Vice Chairperson of the APRM Forum, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa as well as the leaders or their proxies of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Lesotho, and Mozambique.
The 23rd Summit of the Committee of Heads of States and Governments participating in the African Peer Review Mechanism considered a presentation on “the future of the APRM” presented by Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, Interim Chief Executive Officer of the APRM Secretariat; while a presentation of the progress report on the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons was done by Ambassador Fatuma Ndangiza, Chairperson of the Panel of Eminent Persons of the APRM.
The conduct of the peer review of Annual Progress Report on the implementation of National Plan of Action of Sierra Leone and Uganda, Progress Report on the administrative and financial matters of the APRM by Minister Amara Konneh, who chairs the APRM Committee of Focal Points and the election of the Chairperson of the APRM were items on the agenda.
He made an urgent appeal for support to the work of the APRM Forum and all its associated structures and emphasized that time was of essence.
Speaking during the meeting, President Sirleaf welcomed all and paid homage to two fallen officials of the Panel of Eminent Persons, who lost their lives. She also gave a historical reflection on the establishment of the APRM, and acknowledged the peaceful democratic transitions that are taking place across the continent, while pledging the APRM’s solidarity to the ongoing democratic processes.
The Liberian leader stressed the need to take stock of the APRM’s role in the consolidation of good governance and democratic processes. She also emphasized the importance of the review process and urged improvement in making them useful and result focused through National Plans of Actions to be developed by the reviewed countries.
She welcome the report of Sierra Leone and Uganda with special statements coming from Presidents Museveni and Koroma and called for the dynamism in the work of the APRM and recommitted to the administrative reform processes that include a strong and effective Secretariat involved with implementing and monitoring the Plan of Action. President Sirleaf indicated that the review process must be locally driven and urged the membership of the APRM to support the work of the institution.
“The APRM has the potential as the most important tool for the implementing the Sustainable Development Goals reflected in the AU’s 2063 vision. We pledge to meet with all of our strategic partners to encourage their support to the work of the APRM,” President Sirleaf stressed. She reported on Liberia’s APRM process and progress and called on member countries to get ready to work for a great future for the African continent.
For his part, the Vice Chairperson of the APRM Forum and newly inducted Chairperson, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya joined President Sirleaf in expressing gratitude to President Jacob Zuma for hosting the 23rd APRM Summit and acknowledged the Liberian leader’s able stewardship since taken over as head of the APRM Forum. He also praised her extraordinary leadership role that enabled Liberia contains the further spread and eradication of the Ebola virus disease.
The Kenyan President said the APRM is a vehicle for good governance and social economic development that has now steadily covered about 35 countries on the African continent and indicated that Kenya was preparing for its 2nd generation of peer review. He called on all to bear responsibility for what he called an innovative home-grown and effective tool for good governance on the continent. Dr. Mustapha Mekideche replaced Ambassador Fatuma Ndangiza as Chairperson of the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons.
President Zuma for his part welcomes leaders of the continent to South Africa and stressed the importance of the APRM process, committing South Africa to the work of the institution. He called for the doubling of efforts to leave behind a continent that the next generation of Africans will be proud of and offer that South Africa is ready and willing to host the Secretariat of the APRM.