APRM IN ZAMBIA
JESUIT CENTRE FOR THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION
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There are questions that many Zambians have! But not many of us have good answers! Not only do Zambians ask questions about governance, but so do the citizens of so many other African countries. And that is why there is - or should be! - a growing interest and participation in something called the “New Partnership for African Development” (NEPAD) and one of its key components, the “African Peer Review Mechanism” (APRM). NEPAD has been described as a vision, a policy, a strategy, a plan and organisation for renewal of African countries. It is a long-term development programme, “Made in Africa by Africans,” that aims to put all of the wonderful potentials of this blessed Continent to meet all of the terrible problems of this Continent. The main objectives of NEPAD are to: eradicate poverty; promote sustainable growth and development; enhance full and beneficial integration of African countries into the global economy; and accelerate the empowerment of women and marginalised groups.To fulfil the objectives of NEPAD, governance is a key area to look at. A very important and very interesting dimension of NEPAD is the APRM. This new program offers the possibility for African citizens and governments to assess performance in meeting key components of sustainable development, in the context of widespread “peer” review. In the view of many, it signals a turning point in the search for a common ground in Continental cooperation. The APRM is seen as a vital tool for enhancing collective responsibility for good governance within African countries. However, for the promise of the APRM to be realised, there needs to be intelligent, active and effective involvement of the citizenry in the overall process. This means the dynamic participation of many citizens. One of the many advantages of the APRM process is that it offers opportunities to bring about more robust public debate on policy issues. Peer review has the potential to extend and deepen the dialogue at the national level, where the debates on reform are most important. While formal structures of accountability like parliaments, courts, investigation commissions, etc., are important, they are often associated with the political administration in power. Thus a negative perception of their effectiveness and impartiality can often undermine the credibility of policies adopted and implemented. In conducting its review and making its recommendations, the APRM focuses on four main thematic areas of governance, which are Democracy and good political governance, economic governance and management, corporate governance and socio-economic development.
CitationJCTR (2006). APRM IN ZAMBIA; Taking Hold of Our Future Through the APRM in Zambia. Lusaka, Zambia; Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).
JESUIT CENTRE FOR THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION
The African Union through its New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) introduced the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in 2003. The APRM is a system introduced to help improve governance among African countries. The countries voluntarily assent to be members of the review process in which they review each others’ government processes with the aim of strengthening the good practices and discouraging the bad practices of governance. The peers - Heads of States and Governments of the countries who are members of the process - create a forum for themselves for self-monitoring in order to promote accountability and transparency in government. As they are all of a similar standing, these African peers are expected to hold a common belief in good governance and are looked to for promoting the overall good of the Continent. Whether that expectation is fulfilled or not, is yet to be seen! The APRM aims to foster the adoption of policies, standards and practices that lead to political stability, High economic growth, sustainable development, accelerated sub-regional and Continental economic integration.
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