Your Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia and Chairperson of the APR Forum,
Your Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission,
Your Excellency Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
As the Vice Chair of the APR Forum, I am very pleased to join participate you at this important Forum of the Heads of State and Government participating in the APRM in which we must take critical decisions to revitalize the APRM Mechanism.
Allow me to express Kenya’s profound gratitude to my brother President Zuma for the hospitality accorded to my delegation and I since our arrival in this beautiful nation of South Africa.
I take this early opportunity to commend Your Excellency, for your very able stewardship of the Forum since your election to this important role.
I also recognize the distinguished Panel of Eminent Persons for their continued good work in steering the APRM process in all our countries.
The APRM process is a cornerstone in Africa’s efforts to realize good governance and socio-economic development. It is unprecedented in the history of governance in Africa and remains a unique innovation, a first of its kind.
We are the only region in the world which has voluntarily agreed to go into an extensive governance assessment of its member states.
The Mechanism has steadily covered the continent with the voluntary adherence of thirty-five (35) countries representing more than 75% of the continent’s population.
I am particularly honoured to make a statement to this Forum at a time when Kenya is preparing for the 2nd Generation of peer review which is testimony of our confidence in, and continued engagement with, the APRM process.
We are at a critical juncture as a continent with regard to good governance. The success of Africa’s development agenda rests on good, effective governance across the continent. This is an indisputable truth.
In the past, the APR Mechanism described as a promoted a culture of national dialogue between citizens and their governments and encouraged peer reviews among leaders where we assessed our governance deficiencies, identified best practices and suggested pertinent corrective actions.
Country review reports have, in the past, been used as authoritative reference material and policy statements by academia, businesses, development partners and state actors. This is no longer the case.
So far only 17 countries have been peer-reviewed and are currently implementing their APRM National Plan of Actions. Many countries which acceded to the mechanism at its inauguration, 12 years ago, have not yet launched their self-assessments.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is almost one decade since the pioneer countries were peer-reviewed. The second generation reviews have yet to be conducted. This is at variance with the APRM base document that we voluntarily agreed upon.
While acknowledging the significant past impact and clout, the Mechanism has lost much of its luster as an innovative, homegrown and effective tool for transforming governance in our continent. 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 reminisce of past years.
This trend, inevitably jeopardizes the success of our continent’s development agenda and the hopes of millions of our people which are pegged on good governance.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Against this background and as a matter of urgency, we bear a moral responsibility to ensure that the APRM process is revitalized to keep its promise of Good Governance for Africa.
In an effort to revitalize the APRM, I propose that the Forum convenes an Extraordinary Summit together with our strategic partners to discuss strategies for rejuvenating the mechanism, strengthening the role of the Panel of Eminent Persons in ‘enforcing’ compliance as earlier contemplated in the mechanism, mobilization of resources for effective APRM delivery; and raising the profile of the APRM to as the authoritative Governance index for Africa.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The world is watching Africa. APRM upholds the continent’s reputation with its commitment to good governance. It promises to advance the continent’s sustainable and transformative development agenda. Therefore, 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.
As I conclude, Madam Chairperson, I reiterate my government’s commitment to promote the principles of the Africa Peer Review Mechanism and seek your indulgence to convene the extra ordinary summit of the APRM to address these urgent matters, preferably before the end of this year.
Madam Chairperson, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for your kind attention.