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09.05.2007 General News

Make the populas accountable to APRM.

By Ghana Districts
Professor Samuel Adjepong, Chairman of the National Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Governing Council, said on Tuesday the only means to ensure that the process did not suffer with change in governments was to encourage the people to own it.

He said when the citizens of the countries, which had acceded to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), were sensitized to understand and fully participate in the process, there would be no fears that a change of government could stall its implementation.

Prof. Adjepong was speaking at the opening of the APRM Continental Conference in Accra. The conference is being held on the theme: “Africa's Bold March to Capture the 21st Century – The Role of the APRM.”

APRM is an innovative aspect of NEPAD offering African states the opportunity to improve their policy making, adopt best practices and comply with established standards, principles, codes and other agreed commitments.

It also promises to enhance good governance, democratic practices, respect for the rule of law and of human rights on the continent.

So far 26 countries have signed up to the APRM, representing 73 per cent of Africa's total population.

Ghana, Rwanda and Kenya have already completed their reviews while South Africa and Algeria would submit themselves for review in July this year.

Prof Adjepong said while the national council recognized sensitization as important in promoting understanding of APRM among the citizens, financial resources were always not available to carry out programmes to enable them to identify with the process.

He said it was important for the citizenry to understand that government was not the only stakeholder, adding that everyone had a role to play in ensuring the success of the programme.

Prof Adjepong said the APRM process did not only help governance in the public sector but had also contributed in improving governance performance in civil society and the private sector.

Mr Peter Linder, German Ambassador, said the APRM should be seen as one of the most important political means to support the African Reform Agenda.

“This is particularly because Africa itself with the APRM carries out the diagnosis and determines also the treatment plans.”

Mr. Linder urged the three successful countries - Ghana, Rwanda and Kenya - not to rest on their oars but to continue to share their experiences with other countries.