In partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad of The Republic of The Gambia, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Secretariat conducted a Country Advance Mission, from 23-24 August 2021, in Banjul, to sensitize various stakeholders, spanning from government officials to Civil Society Organisations representatives with regards to the implementation of the APRM Process and Mandate, as well as the critical importance of establishing National Structures which are key pillars for the smooth run of the Country Review Process in The Gambia. The high-level APRM delegation was composed of Prof. Eddy Maloka, CEO of the APRM Continental Secretariat, Dr. Rachel Mukamunana, Head of Country Review Coordination Division, Mr. Batlokoa Makong, APRM Liaison Officer, and Mr. Hugues Manzila, Country Coordinator.
The APRM delegation interacted with various key ministries and institutions, namely The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International, Cooperation and Gambians Abroad; The National Assembly; The Ministry of Justice; The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Defence & Office of the National Security Adviser; the Ministry of Interior, and the Association of Non-Governmental Organisations. Additionally, The APRM Mission also received tremendous collaboration and support from The Gambia Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia through its representatives H.E. Amb. Jainaba Jagne and the Deputy Head of Mission, Mr. Muhammed Mboob.
During the course of the APRM Advance Mission, numerous engagements with Gambian state stakeholders highlighted the tremendous effort and accomplishments attained by the leadership of the Country to critically ensure a smooth transition of the Republic of the Gambia to establish the foundation of a State that promotes good governance, as well as the implementation of key reforms across all government institutions in order to better respond to the expectations of the Gambian people. Among such reforms were improvement on Gender crosscutting policies which was exemplified through the appointment of the first female President of the National Assembly, Hon. Mariama Jack-Denton. Furthermore, the Gambia Government committed to the safe organisation and security of the upcoming Presidential elections by ensuring equal security detail to all political leaders participating in the electoral process. The CEO of the APRM Secretariat, Prof. Eddy Maloka, acknowledged the humble, and yet commendable practices of the Republic of The Gambia even though it does not blow its own horn, and underscored the value of The APRM Process which equally aims to promote sharing good governance experiences amongst African Member States.
Government stakeholders welcomed the vital role of the APRM which will further enhance the rule of law in the Republic of the Gambia, as well as showcase The Gambia’s good governance practices.
The CEO of the APRM, Prof. Eddy Maloka, with the APRM delegation paid a curtesy call to His Excellency, Mr. President. Adama Barrow who welcomed the proposal to establish functioning National Structures in Banjul as a prerequisite to promote good governance through the lenses of the APRM Process in the Republic of The Gambia. His Excellency reassured the APRM delegation of his full support and the government of the Gambia to make use of an African instrument, such as the APRM, that fosters to home-grown solutions to African problems.
In the coming months, the APRM will conduct further country missions to Banjul in order to guide The Gambian government in the establishment of national structures and agree on the timeline to kick start the Country Review Process.
About the APRM
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is an organ of the African Union with the primary mandate of fostering practices that lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable and inclusive development, as well as accelerated regional and continental integration. It seeks to rectify underlying deficiencies in governance and socioeconomic development processes among member states of the African Union by conforming to the agreed political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards contained in the Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance. The APRM was adopted by African Heads of State and Government as a systematic peer learning and self-assessment mechanism originating from the NEPAD foundational document adopted in Durban, South Africa in July 2002.