ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 27 January 2017 (PSCU) – President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged Africa to play its part in funding an aggressive reform agenda to grow the continent and improve the lives of its people.
At a summit of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), which he has chaired for the past two years, President Kenyatta said Africa was making progress in improving its governance structures and institutions, but countries needed to up their game in funding continental initiatives.
“The responsibility to adequately resource our Mechanism financially rests squarely on our collective shoulders. Allow me to insist that charity begins at home. Even as we look outwards for support, we must play our part in meeting our obligations,” President Kenyatta told fellow leaders in Ethiopia.
“Member states should remit their annual contributions on time and paying up arrears,” he said, adding that it was important for Africa to make its own strong contribution in funding programmes that grow the continent.
APRM focuses on improved governance as a vehicle for accelerated development on the continent.
The President emphasized that “peer reviews” – in which countries assess each other’s progress in governance -- will only maintain relevance and meaningfulness if they continue to deliver significant improvement in governance across the continent.
“We must not lose sight of the most important element of peer reviews – the need to improve governance as a prerequisite of accelerated and shared development across our continent,” the President said.
The President noted that for the two years that he served as chair of APRM, he managed revitalise the momentum towards good governance through transformative leadership across the continent.
As part of the revitalization strategy, President Kenyatta said he
mobilized the entire APRM membership to recommit to its ideals and principles by addressing the governance deficiencies highlighted in the peer review processes.
To sustain the pace review processes, the President said members must forging closer collaboration between APRM and African Union organs to facilitate information-sharing and better coordination in the implementation of the continent’s governance.
President Kenyatta said APRM members must also strive to promote deeper integration, intra-African trade as well as social and cultural interactions that boost peaceful coexistence.
President Kenyatta proposed the establishment of a rewarding system that will act as an incentive to member states with demonstrable improvements in sustained efforts on governance reforms.
He said regional champions should also be identified, the African Union report on the panel on illicit financial flows should be implemented and functional national structures as repositories for APRM knowledge be established.
President Kenyatta also expressed the need to generate the necessary political interest, commitment and ownership by the member states in order to enhance participation in the APRM Forums.
“Among the measures we agreed to implement were, to undertake a review of the format of the African Peer Review Forum (APR) meetings to spur interest and active participation of all members, and ensure that the APR Panel deepens engagement with leadership and stakeholders to promote mutual understanding on sensitive recommendations in review reports,” President Kenyatta said.
He recommended fast-tracking of the integration of the APRM into the African Union system as a strategy for achieving institutional stability and sustainability.
The Addis Ababa session is the 27th Summit of the Committee of Heads of State and Government participating in the Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).
The President was due to submit a report on progress at the APRM over the past two years, before handing over to a new chair.
Among the leaders was Republic of Guinea President Alpha Conde, who is the AU Chairperson, as well as Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.