A Ghanaian, Dr. Francis Appiah, has won this years German AfrIca award which honors distinguished leaders on the continent. He was selected by a panel of jurists who chose from among a number of celebrated candidates. The award would be handed over by the German Chancellor later in the year.

Dr. Appiah was selected for his work as the Executive Secretary of the National African Peer Review Mechanism, APRM, Governing Council. Dr Appiah has also done extensive work on the New Economic Partnership for Africa?s Development, NEPAD, initiative in various African countries. He said the APRM seeks to bring change to Africa.

?In the past, Africa has mismanaged its affairs. It has been embroiled in corruption. So the APRM represents a paradigm shift. A new way of governance, a new way of adopting sound economic policies and a new way of promoting the wealth and development of Africa,? he said.

Twenty-six countries representing 73 % of the African population have agreed to participate in the process. Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda have been reviewed already, while South Africa and Algeria are scheduled to be reviewed under the APRM in July.  Dr appiah said ?the review is about real life experiences so we look at factors that can engender conflicts, how we observe human rights; effectiveness of our parliaments; the efficiency of our public service, the role of gender, our economic policies and corporate governance.?

He said the APRM is not mandatory but countries that accede to the process stand to gain.