JOHANNESBURG, Jun 13 – President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is in South Africa for the 25th AU Summit, was elected the chairman of African Peer Review (APR) Forum.
President Kenyatta takes over from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia at a time when the APR Mechanism calls for revitalization to effectively execute its mandate as a tool for governance transformation in the continent.
African leaders agreed to President Kenyatta’s request for an APR extraordinary summit together with the strategic partners, in Nairobi before the end of the year, to discuss strategies for rejuvenating the mechanism.
The APR mandate is to ensure that the policies and practices of participating countries conform to the agreed values in democracy and political governance, economic governance, corporate governance and socio-economic development.
President Kenyatta said the APR Mechanism has lost much of its luster as an innovative, home-grown and effective tool to deliver on Good Governance for Africa.
“Its promise of enhancing good Governance is fast waning. It has given way to routine exercises that do not instill the kind of enthusiastic commitment to leadership transformation reminiscence of past years. ” he added.
President Kenyatta said the APR mechanism was not, as envisioned, promoting a culture of national dialogue between citizens and their governments and encouraging peer reviews among leaders where governance deficiencies were assessed.
“This is at variance with the APRM base document that we voluntarily agreed upon,” the President said.
He told the meeting, also attended by host President Jacob Zuma, that the success of Africa’s development agenda rests on good, effective governance across the continent.
He also called for strengthening of the role of the Panel of Eminent Persons in ‘enforcing’ compliance as contemplated in the mechanism and raising its profile APRM as the authoritative Governance index for Africa.
“I salute the distinguished Panel of Eminent Persons for their continued good work in steering the APRM process in all our countries,” the President said.
President Kenyatta said a working forum would uphold the continent’s reputation with its commitment to good governance and promise to advance the continent’s sustainable and transformative development agenda.
“It is the collective responsibility of our Generation of Africa’s leaders to restore the credibility of APRM by improving its effectiveness, scaling up the accession and peer-reviews, and monitoring the implementation of National plans of Action,” President Kenyatta said.
The President affirmed his government’s commitment to promoting the principles of the Africa Peer Review Mechanism.
Earlier, President Kenyatta attended a meeting of the Committee of Ten (C10) on the United Nations Security Council reforms, where African leaders resolved to remain united in advancing the continent’s cause.
C10 is chaired by President Ernest koroma of Sierra Leone with members drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Namibia, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, Zambia, Algeria, Congo and Libya. AU chairman President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe also attended.