South Africa, Johannesburg, 19 May 2020
Meeting through a virtual platform on 19 May 2020, the APRM Committee of Focal Points made a call to all African States to take coordinated and coherent measures in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The APRM Committee of Focal Points, a body of Ministers representing the 40 member-countries of the APRM, deliberated on the impact and response of Member governments to COVID 19, and what to do to ensure that good governance reform efforts would continue despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic.
The meeting was chaired by South Africa’s Minister of Public Service and Administration, Hon. Senzo Mchunu, who noted his pleasure at presiding over this first-ever virtual Focal Point’s meeting with more than 30 countries participating. Hon. Mchunu observed that this turnout was an indication that countries attached great importance to the work of the APRM, and that this was also an indication that the work of the APRM was vital for Africa.
“Like almost every other organization in the world, the APRM is not immune to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, our tools and methodology must therefore adapt to the changes imposed by the virus. It is no longer business as we know it and the APRM is expected to be agile and adjust to remain relevant and impactful”, said APRM CEO Prof. Eddy Maloka.
The meeting emphasized that the APRM’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic should include both strategic and programmatic elements. The APRM’s strategic response examines the lesson’s learned from the pandemic on the Continent from each Member State, and reasons behind the failure of the APRM’s methodology to adequately prepare Member States for such a disaster.
The five-step programmatic response considered by the meeting details how the APRM can continue to carry out its work and mandate under the pandemic conditions. This includes plans for implementing targeted and country review assessments in a virtual environment that maintains the technical household surveys, focus groups and other research-intensive methods that underlie APRM good governance reviews and recommendations to policy makers across the Continent.
In this regard, the meeting directed the Continental Secretariat not to wait for full resumption of business as usual, but to use virtual and other online platforms to begin preparation for APRM country review missions scheduled for 2020 to among others Niger, Nigeria, Ghana, Namibia, Sierra Leon, Uganda, Chad and Tanzania.
The meeting also explored opportunities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, to revisit the APRM Questionnaire and encourage Member States to build and evaluate their resilience capabilities.
Furthermore, it congratulated Prof Ibrahim Gambari, currently a member of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons, for his recent appointment to the position of chief of staff of the presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
About the APRM
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is a body of the African Union with the mandate to ensure that the policies and practices of participating states conform to the agreed political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards contained in the Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance. The APRM is the mutually agreed instrument for self-monitoring by the participating Member Governments.