By Hassan Abbas – The African Peer Review Mechanism, an African Union (AU) program for assessing good governance in Africa, has praised the fallen Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi as a leader who leaves behind a legacy of productive life.
A statement from the APRM Continental office in Midrand South Africa, availed to Dar es Salaam country office, described the untimely death of Zenawi as a “tragedy for Africa.”
Despite chairing several AU programs, Mr. Zenawi was also the chairperson of APRM Forum of Heads of States and Governments-the highest policy making body of the Mechanism, a position he held since 2007.
“The Panel of Eminent Persons of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APR Panel) has learnt, with great shock and sadness, of the untimely demise of His Excellency Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and Chairperson of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Forum,” said the statement signed by Prof, Amos Sawyer, former president of the Liberian Interim government, who chairs the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons.
The Panel described Zenawi’s contribution to the APRM as “invaluable” and that his efforts will be cherished forever. Prof. Sawyer added: “His Excellency Meles Zenawi contributed to various initiatives at continental and global levels and he made an invaluable contribution to the achievements of the African Peer Review Mechanism.
“His departure constitutes a tragedy for Africa in general at a time when the APRM is cruising through its mandate. H.E. Meles Zenawi’s far-reaching impact on the continental Mechanism will be cherished for many years to come.”
The panel insists that Mr. Zenawi will be remembered because of his contribution to Africa’s development. “ While commiserating with the Government and People of Ethiopia on this sad occasion, we remain convinced that Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s family, Ethiopia, and Africa as a whole, will find consolation in celebrating the productive life that H.E. Meles Zenawi lived.
The APRM was incepted in 2003 and tasked with the mandate of conducting periodic governance assessment among member states with the aim of identified best practices that can be cross learned among African people and the governance challenges that needs to be resolved for the betterment of Africa.
Tanzania is currently among 34 out of 54 African countries participating in the APRM and is set to submit its country governance assessment for peer review in the January, 2003 session in Addis Ababa.
President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania had already joined other world and African leaders to mourn Mr. Zenawi. ““On behalf of the people of Tanzania, my government and myself, I am sending my heartfelt condolences to the late leader’s widow, Honourable Azeb Mesfin, and the entire family of His Excellency Meles Zenawi. We are with you in mourning the death,” President Kikwete had said in his message.