Deputy Minister of Justice Keith Mukata has said the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is an important instrument for measuring efforts being made by African countries to achieve sustainable development.
Mr. Mukata told Zambian journalists covering the 22nd African Union ordinary summit for heads of state and government, which opened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia today, that the APRM is an important platform for providing assistance to members in order to enable them achieve sustainable socio-economic development.
Mr. Mukata is in the advance team of the Zambian delegation to the AU summit where he is attending APRM meetings that are reviewing progress made by AU members in governance issues.
“The APRM is a process conceived under NEPAD (New Economic Partnership for African Development) to provide a platform for spurring economic development. It is a monitoring mechanism for NEPAD in various governance issues,” he said.
He disclosed that Zambia was peer reviewed in 2013 adding that this year, the country was not submitting any report.
He said South Africa, Burkina Faso and Benin were among some countries scheduled to submit reports at the ongoing meeting.
“As a peer, Zambia is attending the ongoing meeting voluntarily and is giving assistance to other countries in terms of achieving the set goals because countries are at different levels of development but by exchanging ideas, they attempt to attain some semblance of balance,” Mr. Mukata explained.
The deputy minister however admitted that there were numerous developmental challenges in the implementation process of the APRM.
Mr. Mukata said the challenges include infrastructure and finance which he said were being addressed by various organs of the African Union.
He said the APRM was therefore an important mechanism for monitoring development progress among African countries as the country reports give an indication of the stage at which individual countries are in terms of achieving the set goals.
The 22nd African Union ordinary summit for heads of state and government has opened today, Thursday, January 30 at the new African Union Conference Centre in Addis Ababa.
The summit is focusing on agriculture and food security as well as the worrying security situation in South Sudan, Central African Republic and the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
President Michael Sata arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia yesterday to attend the summit which will run for two days and closing on Friday, January 31, 2014.