The nine-member panel of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is proposing a retreat of peer members that will enable them brainstorm over key issues including the mechanisms for integration into the African Union (AU). They said President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf serving as chairperson of the APRM provides an opportunity for potential achievements during her tenure.
According to an Executive Mansion release, speaking on behalf of the panel, Cllr. Akere Muna of Cameroon said they have seen the strong and practical will of the Liberian President in fast-tracking some of the panel's programs. He spoke during a courtesy call on the Liberian leader at her Foreign Ministry office on Wednesday, September 4.
Cllr. Muna noted the slow pace at which the APRM is being integrated into the AU programs and believes President Sirleaf's intervention will speed up the modalities. "We have listened, are convinced, and count on you, Madam President, that you, talking to your peers will see a great deal of achievements in the mandate of the panel.
As part of its transition to the AU, the panel also proposed the celebration of its tenth anniversary at which time Africa will celebrate African achievements in working with the APRM over the last decade.
The APRM, founded in 2003, is a mutually agreed instrument voluntarily acceded to by the member states of the AU as a self-monitoring mechanism with a mandate to encourage conformity as regard to political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards among African countries and socio-economic objectives within the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
President Sirleaf, in brief remarks, promised to discuss their proposals with her colleagues (Presidents and Heads of State and Government) as well as the chairman of the AU Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. "We can arrange a time, if they will have to meet briefly, on the margins of the upcoming UN General Assembly where most of these issues would be brought to the table for discussion," she promised.
She thanked the panel for beginning to evaluate member countries which she said has invigorated the APRM in meeting its mandate.
Other members of the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons' delegation that met with President Sirleaf included: former deputy president of South Africa, Madam Baleka Mbete; Professor Okon E. Nya of Nigeria; Mr. Joseph T.M. Kin of Mauritius; Ambassador Ashraf Rashed of Ethiopia; and Ambassador Fatuma N. Nyirakobwa of Rwanda.
Also in the meeting were Finance Minister, Mr. Amara Konneh and the chairman of Governance Commission, Dr. Amos Sawyer. While the delegation is expected to leave Liberia shortly, the lead panelist on Liberia, Angola, Rwanda and Egypt, Madam Mbete will continue her consultations with other stakeholders here in Monrovia.