Should all Africa’s states join the APRM?

A colorful African map made out of tiles on Escadaria Selaron stairway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Image: Getty, Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP
A colorful African map made out of tiles on Escadaria Selaron stairway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Image: Getty, Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP

When the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) – Africa’s governance monitoring and promotion instrument – was launched on 9 March 2003, it was voluntary.

Summary:

  • The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), which has always been voluntary, is aiming for universal accession by all African states by 2023.
  • Currently, 40 of the 55 African states are members.
  • The ‘expanded mandate’ of the APRM has been interpreted to cover the whole continent and not just member states.
  • The APRM has struggled with the slow pace of country reviews, and several member states have done little to advance the process at national level.
  • There is a danger of states’ lowering the standards of the APRM and weakening it if they are compelled to join without the commitment that voluntary accession entails.
  • The new targeted reviews should not be substitutes for full reviews.
  • While pursuing universal access, the APRM should still focus on its core business of country reviews.

30 Jun 2020