Lesotho APRM Popular Sensitisation Project

The Lesotho APRM Popular Sensitisation (LAPS) Project aims to enhance meaningful participation of civil society in the country’s African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) process, through capacity-building, fostering better knowledge of process, and developing a written submission on the key governance issues in Lesotho.

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.

Useful Links

See how a similar process unfolded in Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

The project partners would like to thank the Government of Sweden and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) for their generous support.

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) is Sweden’s government agency for development cooperation. It strives to reduce world poverty by allocating resources and knowledge to Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.

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