A senior team from the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), and led by the new Lead Panel Member for Mauritius, Ambassador Ombeni Sefue, met, yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo, at Newton Tower, in Port Louis.
Discussions focused on the importance of the APRM and the APRM's progress report of Mauritius, amongst others. Following the meeting with the Minister, a communiqué summarising the APRM's senior team mission to Mauritius and the way forward was signed by Ambassador Sefue and the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Usha Dwarka Canabady.
In a statement following the signing ceremony, the Ambassador indicated that the APRM, a self-monitoring tool voluntarily acceded to by Member States of the African Union (AU), is an initiative of those Africans who wanted to have a say on issues of political, economic and corporate governance as well as socioeconomic development and who did not want to be lectured by anyone from outside.
The APRM, Mr Sefue pointed out, was formed in 2003 and Mauritius was one of the first countries to adhere to the mechanism whereby within each country there is a process of self-evaluation to look at the challenges which each country faces and out of that comes a review report and a programme of action on how each of those challenges can be addressed. Ultimately, he explained, this report is disseminated with other AU Heads of States and Governments so as to share experiences and best practices.
Ambassador Sefue was in fact leading a three-member delegation to Mauritius this week as a follow-up mission for Mauritius's APRM progress report which will be submitted in the margins of the AU Summit to be held in 2019. The progress report, which deals with the implementation of issues that came up when the country was peer-reviewed in 2009, is in its final stages of drafting with ongoing consultations.
The APRM has as objectives to foster the adoption of policies, standards and practices leading to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated regional and economic integration through sharing of experiences and reinforcement of successful and best practice, including identifying deficiencies, and assessing the needs for capacity building.
Since its inception, the APRM's implementation has progressed significantly with the voluntary adherence of 38 Member countries including Mauritius.
Mauritius was among the first States, along with Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda which volunteered to be the first four pilot countries to be peer reviewed. The country acceded to the APRM through the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding on the APRM on 9 July 2003 during the meeting of the NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Development) Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee held in the margins of AU Summit in Maputo.