Buchanan, Grand Bassa - Finance and Development Planning Minister, Hon. Boima Kamara has officially launched the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in the Provincial City of Buchanan, Grand Bassa and assured Liberians that the pending conduct of the country’s self-assessment study and review processes will be inclusive to reflect nationwide participation.
“Today’s event in Buchanan is the manifestation of the emphasis we place on the involvement of the local population in the APRM process, instead of focusing on Montserrado County alone,” declared Minister Kamara.
According to a Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) release, Minister Kamara, who is the APRM National Focal Point for Liberia, made the statement at the ceremony marking the launch of the APRM Liberia County Program’s National Sensitization and Outreach Campaign in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County on Wednesday, January 4, 2017.
“We are delighted as a country to continue the process of national awareness and sensitization with citizens and stakeholders across the fifteen political sub-divisions of our beloved country.”
Minister Kamara further emphasized, “At the end of the process, a country, with the involvement of its people reports on how your government is governing.
This is what I refer to as ‘Write you own story’.”
The MFDP release noted that Minister Kamara reaffirmed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s commitment at the APRM Summit in August last year - that Liberia will conduct its self-assessment in July this year.
He said the President’s commitment is assured by the numerous engagements including the county’s contributions, since Liberia acceded in January 2011.
Minister Kamara however recounted the exemplary leadership exhibited by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during her two-year tenure as Chairperson of the APRM and the consultancy services contributed by the Governance Commission Chairman, Professor Dr. Amos C. Sawyer when he served as member of the Panel of Eminent Persons.
It can be recalled that in February 2016 the APRM Country Support Mission met with President Sirleaf and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Technical Assistance to the APRM Liberia County Program.
Eight months later, in October 2016, a Joint APRM-ECA (United National Economic Commission on Africa) Technical Mission visit Liberia and participated in the launch of the National Sensitization and Outreach Campaign.
The delegation headed by Professor Eddy Maloka also provided Technical Assistance and capacity building for key stakeholders and four Technical Research Institutes (TRI’s).
Minister Kamara said the aim of the various activities was to prepare Liberia ahead of the conduct of its self-assessment study and country review which is expected to be done in six months.
The release further quotes the MFDP Minister as calling on everyone at various levels of the Liberian society to take advantage and fully participate in the process.
“We equally admonish all actors to cooperate with the Technical Research Institutes, the National Governing Council and the APRM national Secretariat as Liberia conducts its country self-assessment study."
"This is not going to be a Monrovia based exercise,” Minister Kamara asserted.
He further indicated that massive sensitization efforts will accompany the conduct of the country self-assessment study and review across the country.
The African Peer Review Mechanism is a strategy through which a country can assess its own performances in four thematic areas instead of depending on international groups alone. It was initiated in 2003 by the AU within the framework of the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
The four thematic areas under the APRM include: Democracy and Political Governance, Economic Governance and Management, Socio-Economic Development and Corporate Governance.
The ceremony in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County brings to four the total number of counties the APRM Liberia Country Program’s National Sensitization and Outreach has been launched.
The awareness was over the past few weeks launched in Ganta, Nimba County; Kakata, Margibi County and Gbarnga, Bong County.
The launch will tomorrow take place in Cestos City, Rivercess County to mark the end of the First Phase of the APRM National Awareness and Sensitization drive.
There are currently thirty-seven out of Africa’s fifty-four countries that are members of the APRM.
These countries including Liberia uphold the principles on which the APRM is built. Each pillar has several counts that member states must subscribe to:
For instance, under the Democracy and Political Governance Pillar: Member States are expected to uphold the rule of law, ensure the equality of all citizens before the law and the liberty of the individual and ensure individual and collective freedoms, including rights to form and join political parties and trade unions, in conformity with the constitution.
Equality of opportunity for all, the inalienable right of the individual to participate by means of free, credible and democratic political processes in periodically electing tier leaders for a fixed term must be ensured.
At the same time Member States are to adhere to the separation of powers, including the protection of the independence of the judiciary and of the effective parliaments.
Under the Economic Governance and Management Pillar: Member States are to uphold code of good practices on fiscal transparence, best practices for budget transparency, guidelines for public debt management, principles of corporate governance, international standards on auditing and the core principles for effective banking supervision.
For Socio-economic Development: Member States are resolved to ensure democracy, good governance, peace and security; gender equality; the development of human and physical resources; openness to international trade and investment; allocation of appropriate funds to the social sector and with civil society.
Under the Corporate Governance: the core principles accepted by Member Countries include the provision of and enabling environment and effective framework for economic activities; ensuring that corporations act as good corporate citizens with regard to human rights, social responsibility and environmental sustainability.
Others are promoting the adaption of codes of good business ethics in achieving the objectives of the organization; ensuing that corporations treat all their stakeholders in a fair and just manner and provide for accountability of corporations and directions.