5 papers to read on APRM Day

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5 papers to read on APRM Day

09 Mar 2018

3min min read
  • Governance and civil society

frica’s most important governance self-evaluation and promotion instrument – the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) – turns 15 today. We round up recent related research from our library. 

Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance through the APRM (SAIIA, 2017)

Pan-Africanism has historically played a crucial role in shaping the foundations of African institutions, and continues to do so today. Divergent opinions on the structure of African institutions raise the question of how these ideologies should be approached in the 21st century. Drawing on interviews with various stakeholders in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), this policy briefing examines the extent to which pan-Africanism can be institutionalised. It concludes that pan-Africanism has evolved as a philosophy without a stipulated African model; hence, it should be based on ensuring total ownership through learning and localisation.

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What Ails the Young? Insights into Africa's Youth from the African Peer Review Mechanism (SAIIA, 2016)

Examining the state of Africa’s youth primarily through the lens of the reports compiled through the APRM, this paper discusses two primary sets of challenges. The first of these is the state of education and training. The standard of education offered to Africa’s youth, as well as the choice of subjects they follow, is not adequately preparing them for entry into the workforce. Students need to be better prepared, and more opportunities should be created for them to study scientific and technological fields.The second is poverty and unemployment – the socio-economic exclusion of Africa’s youth. An issue intimately bound to concerns about education and skills, many young people are unable to secure opportunities that make social mobility possible and provide an outlet for their energies. 

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The APRM at 15: Has African governance come of age? (SAIIA, 2017)

The APRM has its roots in the early 2000s – the Mbeki and Obasanjo years, and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) – and today is a Specialised Agency of the AU. It is a voluntary tool by which African countries are meant to diagnose their governance strengths and weaknesses in the political, economic, corporate and developmental spheres, and develop and commit to remedies to ameliorate these ailments. 

On 27 January, the 27th meeting of the APR Forum (the highest decision-making body of the APRM, comprising of participating heads of state and Government) was held in the AU’s gleaming Chinese-built headquarters This policy brief looks at what happened at the recent APRM meetings on the sidelines of the African Union summit and asks: what lies ahead for the mechanism?

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The APRM and Migration Trends in Africa (EISA, 2016)

This paper, based on the APRM Country Review Reports (CRRs), analyses critically what the APRM says and does not say about migration in Africa. In doing so, it identifies migration trends and patterns by analysing the 16 CRRs available in English. The paper has three main objectives: firstly, to compare and contrast APRM member countries where interesting comparisons can be drawn. Secondly, to analyse and scrutinise the representation of migration in the CRRs. Thirdly, to examine what the CRRs say (or don’t say) about migration. This will identify crucial questions related to migration that the APRM may be overlooking, as well as areas of specific migration-related focus. 

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Space, Soil and Status: Insight from the APRM Into the Governance of Land in Africa (SAIIA, 2016)

This paper interrogates what the APRM’s reports from 10 participating countries have had to say on the land issue. Land is recognised, by the APRM and by the continent’s governments and supranational authorities, as a key issue for Africa’s future. It is critical for both agricultural and nonagricultural development, and to accommodate human settlement. The key, overarching challenge concerns tenure security. Land in Africa tends to be held through hybridised arrangements, in which formal, statutory systems exist alongside customary or other informal systems.

The former place landholding, in theory, under a clearly defined legal order, which in turn makes it suitable as collateral for business endeavours and an asset to be leveraged for developmental purposes. This has led to calls for the formalisation of land titles across the continent. In practice, however, the weaknesses of the continent’s state system make this a doubtful prospect at present. This paper argues that a better option, at least as an interim measure, would be to strive for an adaptation of the continent’s informal systems of landholding, with a view to giving them a degree of legal force.

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View more APRM-related publications here