By Hassan Abbasi, Dar es Salaam – THE African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Tanzania has been applauded as unique mechanism that will enable Tanzania improve its good governance towards improving the lives of the people.
The comments were made recently by the leader of a South African team of foreign Service trainees, during their working and learning tour to Tanzania where they visited a number of institutions under the Tanzanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation including APRM Tanzania.
“We understand that APRM Tanzania like many other projects is facing a number of challenges toward implementation of its activities. But I think this is a unique project for Africa and we only wonder how far has Tanzania gone through this project and what is the governance situation in the country now,” she said.
Responding to the comments, The APRM Tanzania Executive Secretary, Rehema Twalib said the project has accomplished major milestones and the Country Self Assessment Report is now ready for audit by experts from other African countries.
“The country report that shows the status of governance in Tanzania; best practices and the gaps, was finalized and validated by stakeholders all over the country.
“The country is now preparing to host external missions which according to the APRM process involves experts from a number of African countries and institutions who will visit Tanzania to verify some of the facts about the project including verification of compliance to set procedures and whether people have been effectively involved,” she said.
On whether the process is free enough to implement its mandate and hold government leaders accountable, the Executive Secretary said the whole process is owned by the various governance stakeholders who gave their input and at the end validated the whole report.
“Under the APRM arrangement it is not possible for one person to decide the content of the report as, not only from the standpoint of stakeholders’ involvement, but finally it is the other African leaders who play an oversight role for each of their counterpart,” she elaborated.
The APRM process involves both the country self-assessment and assessment by experts from other African countries. The end product of the evaluation process is the production of reports on the status of of governance in the country and a National Program of Action (NPoA).
Tanzania is among 29 countries that are participating in the APRM process. The government acceded to the mechanism by signing the MoU on May 26, 2004 and the country’s Parliament ratified the MOU on February 1, 2005.
The process of governance assessment was commissioned in 2009 and the report finalized in 2009 and preparations are going on so that His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania can present the report to his peers at the APRM forum of Heads of States and Government for consultations and recommendations.