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

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid