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The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) support mission to Ghana
Communiqué:


24th -29th May 2004

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  1. From 24 – 29 May 2004, Dr. Chris Stals, a member of the African Peer Review Panel of Eminent Persons (APR Panel), led a Support Mission of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) to Ghana. The team of eight that included the Lead Consultant for the APRM, Dr. Kerfalla Yansane, was composed of the APR Secretariat and representatives of the following Strategic Partner Institutions, the African Development Bank (ADB), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).


  2. The purpose of the support mission to Ghana was to assess the processes and mechanisms put in place by the country to undertake its self-assessment and prepare its preliminary Programme of Action and subsequently, be reviewed by the APR Panel. The Support Mission to Ghana was motivated by the fact that Ghana is more advanced than most countries in creating the requisite structural prior conditions including:
    1. Appointing an independent National APRM Governing Council (NAPRM-GC);
    2. Establishing a National APR Secretariat to provide support to the Governing Council;
    3. Commissioning four independent, non-governmental technical advisory bodies to assist with the assessment process in the respective four thematic areas of democracy and good political governance, macro-economic management, corporate governance and socio-economic development; and
    4. Embarking on a sensitisation campaign throughout the country to educate and involve all national stakeholders in the self-assessment process.
Courtesy Visit to H.E. President John A. Kufuor
  1. Dr. Chris Stals, Prof. S.K. Adjepong, the Chairman of Ghana’s National Governing Council of the APRM, accompanied by two other Governing Council members, Ms. Gloria Ofori Boadu and Prof. S. K. B. Asante, as well as the Executive Secretary of the National APR Secretariat, Dr. Francis Appiah, and the APR Panel Support Officer, Mr. Mufor Atanga, paid a courtesy visit to the Head of State, H.E. President John A. Kufuor. The President, in the presence of his Minister for Regional Cooperation and NEPAD, Dr. K. K. Apraku, emphasised the importance of the APRM and stressed on the independence of the Governing Council that has been set up by Ghana to oversee the integrity of the national process. He indicated that he had no doubt that the Governing Council will not be subjected to political manipulation. The President stated that Ghana will give its full cooperation to the APR Panel of Eminent Persons. He declared that he had no doubt that the Panel’s work will contribute towards fostering good governance on the continent.


  2. Dr. Stals expressed his appreciation for the personal commitment of H.E. President Kufuor to the APRM. This commitment is seen in Ghana being one of the first countries to create the Ministry for Regional Cooperation and NEPAD on the continent, and putting in place an independent Governing Council to facilitate the implementation of the APRM and ensure the broad participation of key stakeholders in the process. Dr. Stals informed the President that his team had received exemplary cooperation from the Governing Council and National APR Secretariat as well as from other stakeholders.
APR National Stakeholders’ Forum
  1. An APR National Stakeholders Forum was held on 27 May 2004. Vice President Aliu Mahama, who presided over the Forum, assured Ghanaians that the APRM process in Ghana will not be compromised by political factors. In his keynote address, he echoed the words of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, who declared “the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the continent.” Explaining that the purpose of the APRM process was economic independence and regional integration, which is another step towards the total liberation of the continent.


  2. In his welcome remarks, the Chairperson of the National APRM Governing Council underscored that the integrity and credibility of the APRM process in Ghana is entrusted on the independence and autonomy of the APR Governing Council. Dr. Stals reiterated that after having interacted with the Governing Council, he was convinced that the Governing Council will carry forward the commitment, vision and enthusiasm of Ghana in pursuit of the APRM. He insisted that the APRM is first and foremost a process initiated and conducted by the country itself. The APR Panel of Eminent Persons (APR Panel) only provides support and advice to the country.


  3. The Minister for Regional Cooperation and NEPAD, Dr. K.K. Apraku, emphasised Ghana’s commitment to the APRM process and assured Ghanaians that the Government would not interfere in the APRM process.


  4. Dr. K.K. Apraku, Minister for Regional Cooperation and NEPAD, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Dr. Chris Stals, APR Panel Member, on behalf of the Chairperson of the Committee of Participating Heads of State and Government in the APRM (APR Forum), signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Technical Assessment Missions and the Country Review Visit of the APRM.
Interactions between the Support Mission, the National APRM Governing Council and National APR Technical Teams:

  1. A briefing session was organised to update the APR Support Mission on the preparedness of Ghana for the African Peer Review process. This provided the opportunity for the Support Mission to interact with the lead Technical Institutions engaged by the National APRM Governing Council to assist in the country’s self-assessment in the four identified thematic areas. The lead institutions are:
    1. Centre for Democratic Development, for Democracy and Good Political Governance;
    2. Centre for Policy Economic Analysis, for Economic Governance and Management;
    3. Private Enterprise Foundation, for Corporate Governance; and
    4. Institute for Statistical, Social, and Economic Research, for Socio-Economic Development.


  2. The lead institutions briefed the Support Mission on the proposed methodologies for undertaking the country’s selfassessment. The discussion centred on the importance of the National APR process being all-inclusive and participatory in nature. It was also emphasised that the questionnaire is to serve as a guideline. Hence, it could be recast and countries were encouraged to include country specific issues. The need for regular communication between the APR Panel and the National Governing Council was emphasised. It was noted that Ghana, to her credit, was well ahead of many other African countries.


  3. The Support Mission reiterated that each participating country should feel free to mobilise resources for the National APR process to the extent that such support is coordinated and does not compromise the principles of the APRM.
APR National Stakeholders’ Workshop

  1. The National APRM Governing Council organised a three-day National Stakeholders’ Workshop from 27 – 29 May, 2004 to further discuss the methodology and tools and processes of the APRM. It brought together national stakeholders and the lead national technical teams designated by the National APRM Governing Council in the four thematic areas and the Support Mission team.


  2. The participants of the National Stakeholders’ workshop were organised into syndicate groups around the four thematic areas to discuss the questionnaire and offer suggestions on the proposed methodology including country specific issues.
Appreciation

  1. The Governing Council registered its appreciation to the Support Mission for making time to interact and support the National APR process. The Support Mission expressed its thanks to the President, the Government, and the National Governing Council for the warm hospitality and cooperation it received throughout its stay in the country.


Dr. Chris Stals     Prof. S. K. Adjepong
Member              Chairman
APR Panel          APR National Governing Council

Issued in Accra, Ghana, 29th day of May 2004.




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