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Namibia Calls Peer Review Mechanism A Sham

Namibia has dismissed the African Peer Review Mechanism of the New Partnership for Africa's Development as a "sham". During a statement over the weekend, Namibia’s Foreign Minister Marco Hausiku said his government has consigned the review to what he calls “the dustbin of history.” He said African countries should not be compelled to participate or allow other countries to dictate the process. The foreign minister’s statement referred to a perception that the African Union adopted peer review under pressure from donor nations.

Phil ya Nangoloh is the Executive Director of the Namibian National Society for Human Rights. He told Voice of America reporter Ashenafi Abedje he is not surprised by the foreign minister’s statement. He says his group has long complained about “Namibia missing out on the peer review system,” which he describes as ”a very important element of NEPAD.”

Hausiku says NEPAD “is a program born and bred in Africa.” He says it would be “realistic to expect Africans to do good the way they promised they would.” The human rights activist disagrees with the official view that compliance with the peer review mechanism could compromise national sovereignty. He says Namibian officials contradict themselves “seeking designation as a least developed country” on hand, while rejecting peer review mechanism under the guise of sovereignty. Such a stance, he says, will be hypocritical on the part of the government.