AN ANALYSIS OF THE NAMIBIAN GOVERNMENT’S POSITION ON NEPAD’S PEER REVIEW MECHANISM (APRM)
The study investigates the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). Although the initiative is quite new, many contributions have been made and many articles written about it. NEPAD is the latest initiative aimed at improving economic growth and development in Africa. It is a programme of the African Union (AU) and all member states of the AU are automatically members of the NEPAD programme. The other earlier initiatives such as the Lagos Plan of Action (1980), amongst others, failed to address the many problems faced by the continent of Africa.
The NEPAD programme looks promising and has the potential to turn the situation around. However, issues such as lack of consultation, exclusion of civil society organizations, and marketing the programme first outside of the continent, pose a political threat to NEPAD. At the heart of NEPAD is the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) aimed at improving, among others, standard of governance among the African states. Surprisingly, all African member states that are also AU member states have subscribed to NEPAD, but not to the APRM. In terms of analysis, this does not augur very well for the countries to be part of the NEPAD programme and at the same time condone the program’s brainchild, which is the APRM.
The APRM is a voluntary mechanism acceded to by African countries as a self-monitoring instrument. By acceding to the APRM, a country makes a commitment to be reviewed by other member states in areas of governance and other related areas. The APRM gauges whether a particular African country’s performance in the domain of
governance is within stipulated principles of NEPAD. The APRM emphasises the need for African countries to share experience, reinforce successful and best practices, identify deficiencies and assess the need for capacity building.
Although the Government of Namibia has accepted NEPAD, it has not acceded to the APRM. The stance of the government of the Republic of Namibia is explored in depth in the thesis. Many African countries accepted NEPAD, but do not accede to the APRM. They see the APRM as an attempt by the West to dictate development efforts in Africa and to prescribe who should benefit from NEPAD. Factors, such as the mechanism’s voluntary nature, non-sanction measures, the time frame for signing up, the issue of sovereignty, contribution fees of US$ 100 000, amongst others, continue to pose a threat to the universal acceptance of APRM. So far only twenty-four out of fifty - three member states of the AU have joined the APRM. The expected results of the first countries under review - Rwanda, Ghana, Kenya and Mauritius - will be a starting point of either deterring other member states from or encouraging them to sign up for the APRM as some countries have adopted a “wait and see attitude”.