The workshop was organized by the African Peer Review Secretariat to create awareness on the APR process and educate actors on how to enhance their involvement in the process.
Participants at the workshop included representatives from government ministries and agencies, and non-state actors from civil society, private sector, academia, traditional leaders, media, women groups, youth and the physically challenged.
The delegation was in Liberia as guests of the Liberian Government to gauge the preparedness of the government for its country self-assessment and country review reports and also offer technical assistance.
They were met on arrival at the Roberts International Airport on Sunday by the Senior National Program Officer of the APRM Secretariat, Dax Patterson Sua.
The Country Support Mission that is expected to be in Liberia for five days on Monday met with officials of the Ministry of Finance and Development, members of the Liberia APRM National Governing Council, the APRM National Secretariat and some strategic partners. The Minister of Finance and Development, Mr. Amara Konneh is Liberia’s APRM National Focal Point.
While in Liberia, the Country Support Mission will also meet with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former chairperson of the APRM Forum to sign a Memorandum of Understanding of Technical Assistance to the APRM Liberia Country Program.
The four person delegation led by APR eminent person and lead panel in charge of Liberia, Hon. Brigitte S. Mabandla from the APRM continental secretariat in South Africa, include Mr. Ferdinand Katendeko, Coordinator, APR Continental Secretariat; Ms. Patricia Laverley, African Development Bank, and Ms. Hodane Youssouf, Representative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) was established in 2003 as an African Union initiative for promoting good governance within the framework of the New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD).
The objectives of the APRM are primarily to foster the adoption of policies, standards and practices that lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration through experience sharing and reinforcement of successful and best practices, including identifying deficiencies and assessment of requirements for capacity building.
Since its establishment, 35 countries more than half of Africa countries with three-quarter of its population have acceded to the APRM framework and 17 countries have been reviewed. Liberia will be the 18th country to be reviewed under the APRM framework by 2017.
In 2010, at the 12th Summit of the APR Forum held in Addis Ababa, former Interim President of Liberia Dr. Amos C. Sawyer was appointed to the highest decision-making body, the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons. A year later, Liberia formally joined the APRM by depositing the signed MOU of March 2003 at the NEPAD Secretariat.
Liberia acceded to the 14th Forum of Heads of States and Governments of the APRM in January 2011 and has made meaningful contributions in terms of representation and participation.
At the same time, the Liberian government and the Governance Council of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the implementation of the APRM in Liberia.
The signing of the MOU was as a result of a work plan developed by the National Governing Council following series of work and consultations for the domestication of the APRM.
The committee was established by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf few years ago.
Speaking prior to the signing ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia on Wednesday, President Sirleaf said the government is proud to be a part of the APRM review process because of the innovations the Mechanism represents.
The Liberian leader noted that APRM comes at an important peak of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) when African countries are taking up certain targets and goals of the SDGs which are aligned with their own national plans, and must determine how they can move forward with new agenda that reflect both national and international goals.
According to her, the APRM has a key role to play in monitoring what the countries do in setting their targets in achieving those goals.
She pledged the government’s commitment to working with the National Governance Council to ensure that the APRM works in Liberia by providing it with the necessary support that is needed to carry out their task.
The nine-member National Governance Council comprises civil society, the disabled community, women groups, political parties and the Traditional Council, among others.
President Sirleaf signed the MOU on behalf of the Government of Liberia while the Chair on the High Level Panel on the African Peer Review Mechanism signed on behalf of the Council.