APR Panel deeply concerned by the critical situation in certain African countries

AGI In a Declaration issued on 21 March 2011, the Members of the Panel of Eminent Persons of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) express their deep concern about the critical situation prevailing in certain African countries in the recent past.

According to Professor Mohamed-Séghir Babès, Chairperson of the Panel, « the various demands made by people here and there have issues pertaining to all the elements of governance as common denominator». This political situation was examined and discussed in depth at the 48th Meeting of the APR Panel on 15 March 2011 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

« The Panel cannot remain indifferent to what is happening», the Chairperson added. He indicated that this gesture from the Panel conforms to its mandate, as a moral authority with responsibility to independently monitor and assess developments in the APRM member Countries in the areas of Democracy and Political Governance, Economic Governance and Management, Socio-economic Development and Corporate Governance.

At a time when twenty (20) African countries are gearing up to organize municipal, senatorial, presidential or legislative elections in 2012, the Panel is keen to sound a note of caution by encouraging the authorities and leaders concerned to respect the rules of democracy and transparency – the sole guarantees for stability, peace and development.

The Panel Members emphasize that the APRM is «an innovative and important instrument» established by the African Union to accompany and assist the Member Countries in their endeavour to face up to such formidable challenges and improve their practices in terms of governance. They invite the countries that have not yet acceded to the Mechanism (which currently has 30 members) to do so, thus recalling an appeal made by His Excellency Meles Zenawi, Chairperson of the APR Forum, at the opening of the 14th Forum of Heads of State and Government of the Countries Participating in the APRM, on 29 January 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Apart from this topical issue, the Panel Members considered, among other agenda items, reports on the Country Review Mission conducted from 7 to 25 February 2011 in Zambia and the Support Mission to Djibouti, which was organized from 21 to 24 February 2011. The 48th Panel Meeting also deliberated on matters concerning preparations for the review missions envisaged in April 2011 in Kenya (Second Review) and in May 2011 in Sierra Leone.

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