Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
He cited misunderstanding of the process and lack of human and financial resources at local levels as constraining factors to quick implementation of the APRM.
“The process is new and needs to be understood by every African” said Dr. Kouassi, adding that some nations are still reluctant fearing that it is a witch-hunting process.
He said the APRM is an African initiative that must be implemented by Africans themselves. “We cannot use non-Africans in this review process because they are not acquainted with the continent’s environment”.
He also said financial constraint should not be a delaying factor since donors will provide support once a nation has shown the political willingness to be reviewed and provide at least seed money to kick off the process.
He seconded Rwanda’s move to acquire expertise from South Africa to ensure that the lack of capacity did not delay the review process.
Earlier, addressing deputies during the second day of the Pan African Parliament session Dr, Kouassi said the APRM process is “very encouraging”.
The APRM Secretariat, he said, has the responsibility to recommend what it believes is best for a country to move forward. For Ghana one of the issues that requires immediate and critical attention to speed up social and economic development is the marginalisation of women in politics. This, he said, is manifest in all tiers of government.
For Rwanda he called for raising awareness on corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. “There is a need to enact new laws and regulations as well as to put in place institutions geared towards creating a favourable business climate”.
Transformative leadership is very important for Kenya to move forward, he said. The APRM process in the East African nation has revealed that such leadership is required at all levels.
“Kenya needs transformational leadership that will all focus on common values and goals, not only at the helm of affairs but at all levels,” Dr. Kouassi said. In general the APRM process has been a learning process not only for the countries involved but also for the secretariat, he said.
In countries that have completed their reviews, the process has created permanent dialogue among all stakeholders. “Such dialogue can help governments identify their strengths and weaknesses as well as challenges”, he said.
To date, 25 countries have acceded to and signed the Memorandum of Understanding for implementation of the APRM. Of these, three have completed the process, three are completing and 12 have started.
Source : nepad news - november 17, 2006