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The African Peer Review Mechanism

The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) was established in 2003 by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC) as an instrument for AU Member States to voluntarily self-monitor their governance performance.

APRM is a voluntary arrangement amongst African states to systematically assess and review governance at Head of State peer level in order to promote political stability, accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration, economic growth and sustainable development. By acceding to the APRM, Member States agree to independently review their compliance with African and international governance commitments.

Performance and progress are measured in four thematic areas:

  • democracy and political governance
  • economic governance and management
  • corporate governance
  • socio-economic development.

Each review leads to a national programme of action for the state concerned to address problems identified. A national monitoring body prepares six-monthly and annual reports on progress in implementing the national programme of action for submission to meetings of the APRM Forum of Heads of State and Government. Country review reports are made available to the public after the APRM Forum peer review.

Structure

The APRM has structures at both continental and national (country) levels.

Continental Level Structures

  • African Peer Review (APR) Forum: a committee of all participating Member States’ Heads of State and Government. The Forum is the APRM’s highest decision-making authority.
  • APR Panel: composed of eminent persons from all five of Africa’s regions and appointed by the Forum, and responsible for ensuring the APRM’s independence, professionalism and credibility. Panel members are selected and appointed by the Forum for a term of up to four years, with the exception of the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson who are appointed for one-year, non-renewable terms.
  • APRM Focal Point Committee: composed of the personal representatives of the Heads of State of the participating countries. The Committee is a ministerial body acting as an intermediary between the APR Forum and the APRM Secretariat. It is responsible for administrative and budgetary matters, and reports to the APRM Forum.
  • APR Secretariat: provides technical, coordinating and administrative support services to the APRM.

National Level structures

  • National Focal Point
  • National Commission/National Governing Council
  • National Secretariat.

The APRM has special support agreements with five Africa-based institutions designated by the Forum as strategic partners: the African Development Bank (AfDB), UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), UN Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Africa, Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF).