By Special Correspondent, Addis Ababa – President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania on Saturday joined other African leaders to participate in the Forum-the highest policy making gathering of Heads of States and Governments participating in the African Union governance assessment body-the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).
The Forum which among other things, issues all policy guidelines on how best to govern the Mechanism also receives and deliberates upon all country governance reports and monitor implementation.
Other Heads of States and Government who attended the Forum includes; Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, President Boni Yayi of Benin, President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Prime Minister of Algeria, Ahmed Ouyahia and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda among others.
President Kikwete attended the meeting at a time his country’s governance assessment report is set to be presented at the same Forum in January, 2013. The APRM Forum meetings are usually held at the margins of the African Union Summits.
According to the CEO of the APRM Tanzania Country Chapter, Rehema Twalib, speaking here in Addis Ababa in the margins of the meeting, the Forum was a successful one and it was confirmed to the Tanzanian delegation that the country would be reviewed in January.
“At the margins of the meeting also, Barrister Muna, the lead Panelist for the Tanzania process confirmed that the Country Review Report (CRR) will be ready in September 2012, and Tanzania will be peer reviewed in January 2013,” she said.
In the meeting, the APRM process attained another major milestone as five new countries acceded to the Mechanism. The countries are Niger, Cape Verde, Chad, Tunisia and Equatorial Guinea, bringing the total of participating countries to 35 out of 54 AU members.
Speaking during the opening session after signing the accession treaty, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger said that, “the APRM allows strengthening social peace, sustainable development as well as regional integration.”
The meeting also received and deliberated on progress reports on the implementation of APRM National Programmes of Action at country level for Algeria, Burkina Faso and Uganda.
The Forum also welcomed and congratulated President Mark Saly of Senegal who was attending the Forum meeting for the first time since his election victory earlier this year.
Tanzania acceded to the APRM in 2004, the process got Parliamentary ratification in early 3005 and the first country assessment report was completed in 2009. The report was reviewed in 2011 and now awaits the January Forum for the President to submit it before his peers.