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Peer review in December

Shakeman Mugari

NIGERIAN president Olusegun Obasanjo says the New Partnership for Africa’s Development will launch the first phase of its peer review mechanism sometime in December.

“The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) panel held its inaugural meeting in July and is now preparing for the first reviews to be initiated, hopefully in the next three months,” said Obasanjo.

He said 16 African countries had already voluntarily acceded to the APRM and that efforts were under way to seek and encourage more accessions.

Speaking at the Third Tokyo International Conference on African Development, Obasanjo also emphasised the need for good governance to enhance African development through the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

“The Nepad leadership has launched the African Peer Review Mechanism in pursuance of the governance agenda,” said Obasanjo. “It is a unique development in African politics and represents a renewed commitment to good governance, transparency and accountability.”

It was however the thorny issue of peer review that took centre stage at the meeting. The United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank and other key donor countries emphasised the need for African countries to show commitment to the mechanism to develop a solid democracy and human rights which they said were at the core of Nepad’s success.

Obasanjo’s remarks come at a time when Zimbabwe’s political situation has deteriorated, with the government pursuing its crackdown on the media and the opposition.

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