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19.06.2005 General News

Ghana is proud to be one of the pioneer nations

From: Patrick A. Firempong, GNA Special Correspondent, Abuja

Abuja, June 19, GNA - Ghana is proud to be one of the pioneer nations to be reviewed under the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), President John Agyekum Kufuor said in Abuja, Nigeria, on Sunday. He said, "Ghana should be proud for being among the pioneers in the APRM".

President Kufuor was addressing the closing session of the Third Summit of the APR Forum during which the APR Panel of Eminent African Persons submitted their reports on Ghana and Rwanda for assessment. He expressed appreciation to the Heads of State and Government who attended the Summit, "to hold the mirror for Ghana to see herself objectively." President Kufuor said although the report could not be perfect, there was not much time for the Forum to undertake an intensive deliberation on it.

However, he assured the Forum that during their next Summit in August, this year, the Government would study the report and the Country Self-Assessment report to explain details. "We do not see ourselves as being placed in the dock by the Forum but see our reflection on a very professional basis to correct the path we have chosen for economic development," he added. Rwandan President Paul Kagame said the benefits of the process to Rwanda would be reflected in the report submitted to correct her responsibilities. He said the APRM was a good learning process for the countries to know their strength and weaknesses.

President Kagame said if Rwanda consolidated her strength and worked on her weaknesses together with other African leaders and countries the Continent would be well developed. "We look forward to work with others to correct the weaknesses. I wish to express my appreciation to the support Rwanda has received from the APR Panel", he added.

President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Chairman of the African Union (AU) said the Forum was satisfied with the reports submitted although not everything was perfect, saying, "There are strong points and weaknesses." He expressed appreciation for the work done by the APR Panel appointed two years ago when the APRM was launched in March 9, 2003. President Obasanjo who is also the Chairman of the APR Forum said working under the tenets of the APRM, the Forum could not deliberate on the reports for an effective peer reviewing but copies would be made available to the Heads of State and Government to study and present their comments at the next Summit in August.

He announced that four other countries had acceded to be reviewed before the end of the year. They are Mauritius, Kenya, Algeria and Nigeria. President Obasanjo said, "This is a good beginning, we have made a start and will continue to work on the process we have began." President Kufuor returned home on Sunday.