By Frank Kamuntu
Minister of state for planning and economic development David Bahati on Wednesday addressed the media about the APRM Uganda Focal Point, a mechanism that was established in 2003 by African heads of state, including Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
On the27th summit of Committee of Participating heads of states (APR FORUM) which was held in Addis Ababa in January of 2018, Uganda through president Museveni, presented its completed second governance review under APR mechanism and was considered as the second African Union state to have completed its reviews conducted basing on principals of APRM Base Document Questionnaire, involving conducting review exercises in participating states that are technically competent, credible and free of manipulation.
Minister Bahati said that “Thirty five countries have voluntarily acceded to APRM since its inception in 2003 and 17 of them have been peer reviewed by completing their first cycle of reviews using APRM Questionnaire provided by APR panel and domesticated by each country to conduct self assessment exercise, basing on 4 thematic pillars or patronages including Democracy and Political Governance, Economic Governance and Management, Corporate Governance and Socio Economic Development.”
Bahati added that “Uganda is applauded by AU for having been among peer countries to be peer reviewed under mechanism on the basis of the 7th country review report in 2009. The APRM national programme of action was implemented over a period of 2010-2014 and annual reports of Civil society, Academia and Private sector were presented by Museveni to the APRM Forum including African State Presidents, and the copy of the reports was presented to the Pan African Parliament in 2015 completing their first cycle of the peer review.”
Minister Bahati also said that “A report to be launched today by his Excellence Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and His Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi commends Uganda for its involvement of youth representatives in parliament, Medico-legal-services for victims of Gender Based Violence, the Uganda approach to management of its oil resource centres etc. The APR panel revealed in the same report that Uganda still has a challenge of management of diversity, massive youth unemployment, land being a critical and emotional subject, among others.”
In august 2016, during the 25th APRM summit HE Museven raised some pertinent issues that have to be reviewed in the APRM questionnaire as bottlenecks including Ideological orientation, interference with public sector, under developed infrastructure, weak sates including army police etc, fragmented markets, market access and expansion, lack of industrialization and value addition, structural inequalities, attack on democracy etc.
However Professor Eddy Maloka, the Africa Peer Review Mechanism CEO (APRM) briefed the media and said that as an officer of APRM he is happy with President Museven’s contribution in the mechanism and said they are to continue distributing structures in all African states and at level of head of state
He noted that “APRM is a mirror which is used to review African States Economic Development and welcomed two states including Zimbabwe and Seychelles, who are to join in February next year. I call upon all African states to subscribe to this mechanism since it aims at developing the African continent.”