aprm anniversary celebration

This year’s African Peer Review Mechanisms (APRM) anniversary celebration aims to deepen the African Union values to end conflicts within the four major conflict zones on the continent.

The 17 Anniversary of the APRM, which fell yesterday March 9, was celebrated under the theme: “silencing the Guns through the Promotion and Deepening of the AU shared values”.

In a statement issued to the Ghana News Agency and signed by Mr Kofi Marrah, Executive Secretary Ghana, APRM office, said it was important to reflect and take stock of progress in governance while on the road towards universal accession to the APRM.

It said 40 countries had voluntarily acceded to the APRM, which included the Republic of Seychelles and the Republic of Zimbabwe, which joined the APRM Family at its 29th APRM Forum of Heads of State and Government held on February 8, 2020, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The statement said beyond the ongoing political and military efforts, there was the need for structural conflict prevention by addressing issues of governance such as inclusiveness, youth, gender and human rights, climate change and other critical factors that underlie many conflicts on the continent.

It was against this background that in January 2018, the Assembly of the Union Agenda and Roadmap, thus positioning the APRM as a pre-emptive early warning tool for conflict prevention and expanding the capacity of Africa to rely on such home-grown knowledge that will allow for African solutions to African problems.

The statement said “Silencing the Guns” was a timely theme this year, following the objective set in 2013 by the African Union (AU) for it to occur by 2020;”Member States and citizens should use this year to reflect on how they can contribute towards a conflict free development through peace building and good governance”.

On the status of peace and security on the continent, it said most conflicts in Africa were rooted in governance deficits, which included mismanagement of diversity, manipulation of constitutions, and marginalization of the youth and mismanagement of natural resources.

He said the Africa Governance Report (AGR) 2019 indicated that there were 21 conflicts in the 55 African Union member states as at July 2018 and had identified four major conflict zones namely; the Mano River Region, the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa, and the Sahel/Maghreb Region.

“While large-Scale wars have declined in proportion to the population in recent years, political violence such as riots and Member States are now more prevalent, while there are fewer conflicts between States, when compared to two or three decades ago when inter-state conflicts such as the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea were more common,” it said.

The statement said the AU in its efforts to promote peace and security had, in terms of policy and practice, established a framework for strengthening democratic actions towards attaining peace and security.

He said violence and crises on the continent were rooted in and exacerbated by governance deficits; these were threats to the realisation of an Africa, which was peaceful, progressive and prosperous.

He said the strengthening of conflict prevention efforts through a focus on the root causes of conflict, as reflected in APRM’s country review reports on democratic governance were, therefore, an important source of support for the AU’s peace and security agenda, and indeed the ‘Silencing the Guns’ objectives.


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