High-level African officials get to work in KZN

Friday, April 13, 2012

Durban - Minister for Public Service and Administration Roy Padayachie has officially opened a two-day meeting of African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Focal Points on Friday morning.

APRM Focal Points are ministers or high-level country officials who report directly to their respective heads of state or government.

Two important issues are up for discussion at the high-level meeting. The country self-assessment questionnaire will be reviewed and discussions around the operationalization of the newly adopted operating procedures for the APRM will take place.

The APRM, which is reviewed once every five years, is an instrument voluntarily acceded to by member states of the African Union as an African self-monitoring mechanism.

The primary purpose of the APRM is to foster the adoption of policies, standards and practices that lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration through sharing of experiences.

Newai Gebreab, Chairperson of the APRM Focal Points Committee, said the meeting will make sure that questions on the self-assessment document will strictly be about governance and not judgement of policies in African countries.

Padayachie said the process of self-assessment was important and promoted internal dialogue and concurred with Gebreab that it had little to do with judgement of policies.

The meeting will also address the issues of institutional effectiveness of the APRM.

Professor Amos Sawyer, chairperson of the Panel of Eminent Persons of the APRM, said a new look at the rules of the APRM is essential to governance as well as the technical work conducted by the body.

Sawyer said the work of the APRM should not only be an instrument to contribute to governance in Africa but a model that can be show cased elsewhere in the world.

Meanwhile, KZN Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo in his opening remarks said strong leadership in Africa could go a long way in tackling social and health issues and also position African countries to make better use of their natural resources.