News / Africa

    African Leaders Urged to Listen to Peer Review Advice

    Akere Muna, an eminent person says African leaders should see the process as a mirror through which they can account for their leadership

    Egypt protesters
    Egypt protesters

    Multimedia

    Audio
    • African Peer Review Eminent Person Akere Muna spoke with Butty

    James Butty

    A participant in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), which promotes good governance on the continent, told VOA the process continues to function.

    The APRM was started in 2003 to encourage conformity among participating African countries with regards to democracy, political, economic and socio-economic governance. Some have suggested it has been silent lately.

    Attorney Akere Muna is a former chairman of Transparency International-Cameroon and an eminent person in the African Review Mechanism.

    He said African leaders should listen to the peer review recommendations if they are to avoid what is happening in Tunisia and Egypt.

    “I think it’s the most important process and that you ask me this question, when the African Union is meeting to talk about ‘shared values,’ I think the Peer Review system is at the heart of it. The fact that it has been discrete doesn’t mean that it was dead. So, I think it is robust,” he said.

    African Union's 18th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 27, 2011
    African Union's 18th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 27, 2011

    Mr. Muna said the Peer Review Mechanism might have had more visibility from its inception because its eminent persons included African leaders like former South African President Thabo Mbeki and Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo, and also because it was intricately linked to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

    He said African leaders should see APRM as a mirror through which they can see themselves and account for their leadership to their own citizens.

    “Like you’re asking me, ‘Let me ask you why you need a mirror?’ You need to have the advantage of having a system whereby people whose fate are linked to yours can tell you the truth, and I think that’s what it’s about. So, it’s like a family talking to each other to make sure that all of us can be better of tomorrow,” he said.

    Muna said African leaders should listen more to the peer review recommendations if they are to avoid what is happening in Tunisia and Egypt.

    “We are hoping that the work we do is in the interests of leaders who have the interest of their people at heart. So, when you think about a country like Tunisia and what’s happening there, then many leaders will think again  that they need to listen more, and peer review system is one of those listening devices,” Muna said.

    He said the eminent persons of the African Peer Review Mechanism do consider all aspects of governance when they review a country, including term limit if that is part of a participating country’s constitution.

    “The term of office doesn’t really matter; it is how one stays in power that really matters. I think the question is respecting the constitution. If the constitution doesn’t have terms of office, it’s not a problem. But, if your constitution has one and you take it out, then that’s something else. So, the question is do you have a system that has the interest of its people at heart? Is the system functioning in such a manner as to be relevant for the survival and existence of its own people? Those are the things that we look at,” Muna said.

    The APRM conducts periodic reviews of participating countries to assess progress being made towards achieving the goals of democracy and political and economic governance.

    Muna presented the country review of Ethiopia at the 14th Forum of heads of state and government of the APRM held Saturday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on the sidelines of the African Union summit.

    You May Like

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.