Annals of Humanities and Development Studies

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An Evaluation of the Performance of the African Peer Review Mechanism

LU Edigin


The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is a development package for Africa borne out of the compelling need to address the various multi-dimensional problems confronting Africa on the development drive. The Africa peer Review mechanism (APRM) is generally considered the most innovative aspect of NEPAD. It represents an ambitious attempt by African countries to lever themselves out of the circle of poverty and instability to which the continent has been condemned, by taking responsibilities for the maintenance of appropriate standards of conduct. The APRM thus provides for a process of peer review and assessment by acceding states to the APRM protocol in economics, politics and governance; it also recognizes that governance problems have been the key determinants of Africa’s development challenges. There is thus the recognition that in order for Africa countries to approach the 21st century with confidence, they will have to rebuild the continent, change its image and accelerate performance through better democratic rule and democratic governance. African leaders rather than rely on wealthy nation-states outside the continent have now resolved to solve their governance problems themselves. They want to face squarely these challenges and deal with their own problems themselves. This paper explores the APRM and this new line of thought in driving Africa to recovery and in the light of Africa’s quest for development. The APRM is a mechanism of NEPAD by which member states are assessed on key variables, which include political governance and democracy, economic governance and management, corporate governance and socio-economic development. The APRM is thus the main instrument for self monitoring by participating members states. The introduction of APRM, despite its many limitations represents a unique approach to reposition Africa for development and a break off from stagnation and retrogression.

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