, ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Jan 28 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday received high praise from the African Peer Review Panel of Eminent Persons for his leadership of the African Union agency of which he serves as Chairman.
President Kenyatta who was elected Forum Chairman in June of 2015 received accolades from the panel through its Chairperson Mustapha Mekideche during the 26th Summit of the Heads of State and Government Participating in the APR Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
He pointed out that since President Kenyatta took helm of the forum, five African countries – Chad, Sudan, Senegal, Djibouti and Zambia – voluntarily opened themselves up to scrutiny of the APRM with seven others following suit in 2017 among them Cote d’ivoire, Liberia, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa and Mozambique.
Kenya also subjected itself to the scrutiny of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons for a historic second time.
“You should always ask yourself others are being reviewed why are you not being reviewed? The peers will ask themselves ‘you’ve been here for the last 10 years or so and you have not applied to be reviewed, what would be your problem?’” Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri told reporters at a pre-event on Saturday.
Kenya, he said, was last reviewed when President Mwai Kibaki was in office, prior to the promulgation of the Constitution and his successor was keen to have a re-assessment done in view of the changed Constitutional order.
“The actual meaning of peer review is you expose yourself, allow other countries, the panel of eminent persons to come to your country, interact with the people from the opposition, the donor community, the NGOs so they can be able to grasp the issues from the people on the ground to see how the country is progressing. We look at democracy and political governance, economic governance, corporate and socio-economic governance.” Kiunjuri said.
On Saturday, Namibia became the 36th member state to join the APRM fray; its President Hage Geingob signing an MOU to that effect at the forum.
“It is therefore a pleasure for the land of the brave to bravely announce today that we have voluntarily acceded to the APRM,” he said.
The plan now, Kiunjuri said, is to obtain universal accession of AU member states to the self-monitoring instrument. “Next year we want to look at having all the countries join APRM.”