Delegates to the Sixth Africa Governance Forum are meeting for the second day in Kigali, Rwanda. The three-day conference brings together officials from 28 African countries and was organized by the African Union’s Peer Review Panel and the UN Development Program’s Regional Bureau for Africa. Working in collaboration with those two groups are the African Development Bank and the Economic Commission for Africa, the ECA.
Okey Onyjekwe heads the ECA’s delegation to the conference. He told English to Africa reporter Ashenafi Abedje, “A recent survey of 28 countries by the Economic Commission for Africa indicates governance is improving in Africa across the board – but that a number of challenges remain to be addressed.” Onyjekwe says, “Delegates at the Kigali conference are taking a close look at the Peer Review Mechanism and related issues such as political governance, human rights, economic development.” He says contentious issues like term limits are also being discussed in the context of governance.
Onyjekwe disagrees that Peer Review Mechanism proponents have remained silent on political developments in the continent, such as the stalemate in Ethiopia. He says, “Ethiopia has signed on to the Peer Review but has not started to review itself. So the hope is that it (the Ethiopian government) will start doing the review.” He describes the mechanism as a “good tool to assess objectively how countries are performing.”