Removing Neo Colonialism's APRM Mask A Critique of the African Peer Review Mechanism

"The arguments made here should suggest a rethink by any community-based organisation, social movement, non-governmental organisation and other progressive body if they are presently legitimating NEPAD policies, Bretton Woods Institution mandates, donor conditionalities and local elites via the APRM. The merits of participating are few, and the damage done to progressive politics appears very high in some cases, not merely in terms of institutional frustration. The main point is to not forget the context, which is neocolonialism’s need for a mask. As the Partnership Africa Canada’s Déme explains, The launch of the APRM is not neutral in that it coincides with the first difficulties of NEPAD’s initiators to persuade the foreign private sector to invest massively in Africa. Africa’s poor image in the international community, the result of its reputation for bad governance, is in some minds one of the main obstacles to attracting foreign private investment. Herbert and Gruzd conclude that “the system as a whole is beneficial and opens space for meaningful national dialogue.” Yet, this is apparently only true for those institutions – like SAIIA – which have impressive clout in their own terms, e.g. elite connections and a high media profile. As for ordinary citizens, they concede, the ‘meaningfulness’ of the dialogue is open to question."