Zambian Civil Society's Arduous APRM Journey

Zambia began its African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) journey when president Levy Mwanawasa was in office in January 2006, but slowed down during subsequent administrations. Sustaining the momentum and engaging in the APRM process in Zambia over a long period of time (2007–2014) was complex owing to resource limitations, shifting priorities and general administrative fatigue. This policy insight highlights some of the key milestones achieved by civil society on the APRM journey, as well as challenges encountered and lessons learnt. It examines the factors that contributed to the overly-long review process. Zambian civil society organisations (CSOs) faced several challenges, even after establishing a CSO APRM Secretariat. There were divisions between members of the Secretariat and those CSO representatives on the National Governing Council (NGC). A fundamental flaw in the Zambian process was the abrupt closure of the Secretariat and the absence of a plan to monitor the implementation of the National Programme of Action (NPoA), a crucial aspect of the APRM. Overall, this analysis seeks to contribute to the active participation of more civil society organisations on the continent in the APRM, through lessons and recommendations.