The Executive Secretary of the National African Peer Review Governing Council (NAPRM-GC) Dr. Francis Appiah has received the 2007 German Africa Prize for his efforts at contributing to governance reforms in Ghana and the African continent in general.
The Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr.Angela Merkel who presented the award to Dr Appiah at a grand ceremony held in Berlin last Wednesday, praised his work and contribution to the successful review of Ghana and implementation of the APRM process in the country.
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is the mutually agreed instrument for self-monitoring by participating African Union member countries to ensure that the policies and practices of African states conform to the agreed political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards contained in their Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance.
Ghana was the first country to accede to the APRM, raising high expectations on the African continent and beyond.
The Chancellor, who had returned from an African tour only 24 hours before presenting the award, said Dr. Appiah through the APRM had set the benchmark for other African countries to follow.
“More and more countries are now willing to use the mechanism to put the politics and governance of their countries to the test and the prize, like the prize-winner, is a promising sign of the impressive development of the African continent”, she said.
Professor Karl-Heinz Hornhues, Chairman of the German Africa Foundation said the award is an acknowledgement of Germany's support for all the pro-reform processes in Africa. "We are delighted that the support for NEPAD and the APRM again played a leading part at this year's G8 summit in Heiligendamm," he said.
Since 1993, The German Africa Foundation has presented the award to exceptional personalities from Africa judged by an independent panel to have contributed substantially to peace, stability, democracy, human rights and the social market economy in Africa.
In his acceptance speech, Dr Appiah said the greatest advances in the wellbeing of countries the world over have come from public measures and that he and the NAPRM-GC were sure of the of the success of the APRM process in Ghana, when the Government of the Republic of Ghana demonstrated political will towards the process by incorporating the recommendations of the country review exercise into the Ghana Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRSII) for implementation.
“Through public education and sensitization of the citizens of Ghana, the APRM as a grassroots process for citizen's non-partisan participation in the good governance of Ghana is steadily becoming entrenched” he said.
“While there is much to show for our efforts, we can not rest on our oars. The next step is to deepen citizens understanding in the four APRM thematic areas of Good Political Governance and Democracy, Good Economic Management and Governance; Good Corporate Governance and Socio-economic Development so that they become part and parcel of our developmental infrastructure”, he declared.
Last year's German Africa Award went to the anti-AIDS activist and pharmacologist, Segolame Ramotlhwa of Botswana, where he heads the national HIV/AIDS treatment programme.