African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) - Equatorial Guinea has become the 34th participating country of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) after President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo signed here Wednesday his country’s accession to the mechanism. “With the signing of this protocol, Equatorial Guinea reaffirms its commitment to the principles of good governance, respect for democracy, good economic management and social development,” the president said.
The signing ceremony took place at the start of the 20th Summit of the Committee of Participating Heads of State and Government of APRM which also heard reports on implementation of national programmes of action of three peer reviewed countries – South Africa, Benin and Mozambique.
Congratulating countries that pioneered the APRM, President Mbasogo said his country had made remarkable reforms in governance, including the writing of a new constitution that provides for the organisation of the people’s social and economic council.
Mbasogo, who has been President of Equatorial Guinea since 1979, said that Equatorial Guinea did not invite countries from outside Africa to observe the general and presidential elections held in May 2013 “due to the experience we have had in the past”.
He charged that non-African election observers were bent on causing discord among people and destabilising African countries.
Cape Verde and Cote d’Ivoire were expected to sign the memorandum of understanding on accession to the APRM, but they did not show up.
Meanwhile, the African Union (AU) Assembly Chairperson, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn of Ethiopia, told the APRM participating leaders that the importance of the Forum was the way it enabled their countries to learn from each other’s experience in areas of democratisation and governance.
“This Forum is a clear testimony that democracy is entrenched in our societies. I hope all African countries will join the peer review mechanism,” he added.
APRM was created in 2003 as a mutually-agreed instrument for promoting good governance and self-monitoring, besides serving as a system for early warning on potential problems.
“APRM should be strengthened and integrated into the AU,” said AU Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, urging the mechanism participating leaders to ensure their governments are impeccable while they increase advocacy for good governance.
Before the accession of Equatorial Guinea, APRM participating countries included Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali and Mauritania.
Others in the group are Mauritius, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.