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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid