This project is being implemented by the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) in Johannesburg, in partnership with the Governance Institute for Sustainable Development (GISD) in Maseru.
The APRM, established in 2003, is Africa’s premier governance self-assessment and promotion tool. The purpose of the APR is “to foster the adoption of policies, standards and practices that lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration through reinforcement of best practices, including identifying deficiencies and accessing the needs for capacity building,” according to its founding documents.
Lesotho became the 12th AU member state to voluntarily accede to the APRM in July 2004. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Lesotho’s decision to join was driven by the “need for good governance, economic development, participatory democracy, peace and stability.” The country was peer-reviewed in 2009, with no indication yet of when a second review will take place.
But the APRM is not just a government review, but a country review, in which civil society organisations (CSOs) are important stakeholders. It is a requirement that civil society be involved in a country’s process, and the APRM provides a platform to promote a wide range of governance issues that CSOs feel passionately about, through evidence-based submissions. Through LAPS, CSOs are invited to develop a comprehensive governance assessment of Lesotho’s strengths and weaknesses and develop recommendations to remedy shortcomings. It is an important opportunity for robust engagement on progress and challenges since the first country review in 2009.
The process so far
- SAIIA team members met with the GISD in July 2021 to lay the groundwork for the project.
- Presentations from the pre-planning stakeholders’ meeting:
- What is the African Peer Review Mechanism, and why does it matter? By Steven Gruzd, SAIIA
- Lesotho APRM: NGOs’/CSOs’ Lessons, Challenges, Opportunities & Prospects by Tšoeu Petlane, consultant
- Towards a Non-State Actors-Driven APRM in Lesotho by Mzimkhulu Sithetho, GISD
- The APRM Secretariat
- The APRM Toolkit – an online repository of APRM official documents and academic analysis
- Mastering the APRM: Creating Your Submission
- Monitoring APRM Implementation: A Civil Society How-To-Guide
- Country Review Report of the Kingdom of Lesotho (2010)
- Implementing the APRM: Views from Civil Society – The Lesotho Report
- Lessons from Lesotho’s African Peer Review Mechanism Process
The project partners would like to thank the Government of Sweden and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) for their generous support.