On the 29th of January 2021 we had an opportunity to engage several Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) during a project planning meeting via Zoom. The main agenda of this meeting was to introduce the Zimbabwe APRM Popular Sensitisation Project (ZAPS) to the partners, explain how it will work and provide a background of the rules and processes of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), Africa’s governance promotion and measurement instrument. Click here for the minutes of the pre-planning meeting and the recording of the full meeting.
The aim of ZAPS is to enhance the participation of CSOs in Zimbabwe’s APRM process, through capacity building, fostering better knowledge of the APRM and its rules and opportunities, and developing a written submission on the key governance issues in Zimbabwe. The project has been adapted to take into account COVID-19 restrictions.
Zimbabwe’s accession to the APRM provides CSOs with an important opportunity. The Government of Zimbabwe’s plans for the process have not yet solidified, so there is an opening to influence them. The APRM also provides a platform to promote a wide range of governance issues that CSOs feel passionately about, through evidence-based submissions. It is a requirement that civil society be involved in a country’s APRM process. But the extent of their involvement is up to the CSOs, depending on how informed, interested and mobilised they are.
There are several potential benefits stemming from Zimbabwe’s accession to the APRM. This African-owned process will produce a comprehensive governance assessment of Zimbabwe’s strengths and weaknesses and develop recommendations to remedy shortcomings. The APRM can catalyse and bolster reform efforts, and open civic space for CSOs and citizens through the dialogue it promotes. It is also an opportunity for Zimbabwe to explain and showcase its best practices to its peers, and to build capacity in Zimbabwe’s CSOs. A well-run, inclusive and transparent process can promote accountability in the country, and potentially attract investors and development assistance. And the more SADC countries that are encouraged to accede, the easier it is to deal with cross-boundary issues, including climate change, health and migration and regional conflict.
ZAPS will run from December 2020 to June 2021 and will sensitise Zimbabwe’s CSOs on what the APRM is, how it operates, its potential benefits for the country, how it relates to their existing research and advocacy campaigns, and how they can best mobilise and plan to ensure that the national APRM process is open, transparent, fair and leads to greater accountability and better governance in the country.
Members of the APRM Secretariat will also be in attendance. The workshop will focus on how civil society can make a significant and practical difference in Zimbabwe’s APRM process. Issues for inclusion in Zimbabwe’s official submission will be discussed.
SAIIA has approached SIVIO Institute to be a local partner for coordinating the sensitisation process. In this regard, your organisation is invited to attend this meeting and to take part in the process of making a submission for Zimbabwe.
Please register on this link and also confirm attendance with Natsai firstname.lastname@example.org by 20 February 2021. We will only need you to confirm your network provider preference for data and we send you the voucher before the meeting.
- The APRM process: Experiences of youth in civil society
- The APRM in a Nutshell
- APRM in a Nutshell: SADC, CSOs and the African Peer Review Mechanism
- APRM in A nutshell: And an introduction to the Zimbabwe APRM Popular Sensitisation (ZAPS) Project
Watch the event on YouTube: