Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
A Country Review Mission of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) has completed a three-week visit to Uganda following on the country’s Self-Assessment Report and Programme of Action.
The objective of the mission – from 3-23 February 2008 – was to ascertain the extent to which the report and programme reflect the views of the people of Uganda and ownership by the people right up to the top level.
The mission – nine men and five women from 13 African countries – was led by Prof. Adebayo Adedeji, Chairperson of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons and a former Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
After an official visit to President Museveni the mission interacted with leaders in the political, economic and social spheres to help the country reflect on the extent to which governance in Uganda meets international codes and standards agreed by the African Union as the basis for the peer review.
The team consulted widely with a cross-section of stakeholders including the private sector, government institutions, government ministries, statutory bodies, judiciary, Parliament, civil society, the diplomatic community, the Juba peace talks team, and the general public. It also held four regional consultations.
Following the completion of the mission, a Country Review Report will be produced to which the Ugandan Government will make a formal response within 21 days of receiving the report.
The Government’s response, published in its entirety, will be attached to the Country Review Report as an appendix and then President Museveni will make a presentation to his peers during Uganda’s Peer Review in June 2008 in Cairo, Egypt.
The APRM National Commission with support from other institutions in Uganda and employing different methodologies conducted the initial Country Self-Assessment, the outcomes of which were validated by the Commission, in an independent, non-partisan manner.
The Commission completed the Country Self-Assessment Report and developed a Programme of Action. After the presentation of the Country Self Assessment Report to the President on 19 January 2008, the Commission made the report public on 21 January 2008 and subsequently submitted it to Cabinet for review and tabling in Parliament.
This process of self-assessment has been recognised as the most important part of the whole peer review process.
Members of the Country Review Mission
The Country Review Mission members included ; Dr. Francis Chigunta, a development and environmental expert and an academic from Zambia ; Dr. Thomas Nzioki Kibua, former Deputy Governor of Kenya Central Bank with extensive hands-on experience in the management of macro-economic affairs Dr. Khabele Matlosa, a governance specialist from South Africa ; Prof. Mike Obadan, Professor of Economics at the University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria ; Dr. Makha Dado Sarr, former Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa with over 30 years experience in education, research and development policy analysis and planning, from Senegal ; Prof. Ruth Meena, political scientist, educationalist and human rights activist from Tanzania with extensive knowledge on politics and political processes of Africa ; and Patricia Cisse, c orporate governance expert for the APRM Secretariat, the African Development Bank and the World Bank, from Ivory Coast.
It also consisted of representatives from strategic partners : Donatien Bihute a former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of Burundi ; Dr. Eltigani Seisi Mohamed Ateem, a senior regional advisor to NEPAD and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, from Sudan ; Dr. Gladys Mutangadura, economic affairs officer at United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, from Zimbabwe.
The team also included members from the APRM Secretariat : Dr. Afeikhena Jerome, coordinator for economic governance and management and the country coordinator for Uganda ; Eunice Kamwendo-Chintedza, research analyst for economics and management ; and Dr. Rachel Mukamunana, a research analyst for democracy and political governance. NEPAD News, march 7, 2007
The “daunting constraints and challenges" in infrastructure development in Africa were described by representatives of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the African Development Bank (ADB) at a workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 26 February 2008, organised by the NEPAD Business Foundation. An appeal was made to the private sector by the bank spokesmen to join forces to help devise solutions.
Lynnette Chen, CEO of the NEPAD Business Foundation — which promotes dialogue between the public and private sectors concerning the delivery and implementation of NEPAD goals – described the workshop as a platform for business to understand the principles of NEPAD and to engage in its initiatives.
She explained that the NEPAD Secretariat had identified infrastructure development as the most critical need in bridging the gap between Africa and the developed world. Without adequate transport, energy, telecommunications and water networks, all other development initiatives are severely hampered.
Mwafoyonjo Lyson Muwila, principal programme manager at the DBSA, outlined social, political, financial and cultural constraints which confront both public and private sectors in tackling development projects.
"In many respects," he pointed out, " South Africa is in a considerably more fortunate position in terms of skills, resources, innovation and expertise. Consequently, it has a critical role to play in unlocking the potential of the continent. Certainly, the risks of operating in Africa are significant, but the rewards are commensurately greater."
Despite the many obstacles which cripple development, he said, numerous African countries were currently experiencing rapid economic growth. Unfortunately, the lack of adequate infrastructure meant that they could not support and sustain this growth. Hence the urgency in enlisting all possible resources and expertise to find solutions.
"It is impossible for governments to find the US$20 billion annually which is required to create the necessary infrastructure," Muwila stressed.
"We look to the private sector to implement the many various forms of private public partnerships and other initiatives to build the continent’s infrastructure. We can no longer afford to ’think regionally and act nationally’ - growth depends on entire regions working as a single entity."
He pointed to successful regional projects such as the Maputo Development Corridor as examples which shoewd the way towards future development.
"In addition, I can list MOTRACO, the Trans-Kalahari Corridor, Kazungula Bridge, the SADC Regional Information Infrastructure project, the Caledon Transboundary Water Project, Promotion of Transfrontier Conservation Areas. All these projects in some way embraced private public partnerships".
He also described the enormous success enjoyed in Tunisia, where SMMEs were almost exclusively used to promote electrification throughout the country.
Muwila acknowledged that to achieve success, projects had to be supported wholeheartedly by heads of state, driven by champions from both public and private sectors and had to enjoy buy-in from the people on which they impacted.
He did not hesitate to recognise the numerous socio-economic and political challenges which prospective developers had to overcome. However, he added that countries themselves were aware of these shortcomings and consequently welcomed the corporate governance reports which assisted them in developing into the future.
Mike Salawou, task manager for the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility at the African Development Bank, considered key financial constraints the private sector had to resolve in engaging in infrastructure development programmes. Like Muwila, he did not pull punches but emphasised the need to generate new development paradigms, suggesting recourse to pension schemes to finance projects as an example.
"We need to know from you as the private sector what you consider the major difficulties in participating in financing infrastructure in Africa - how do you perceive the blockages and impediments ? And secondly, where do you identify opportunities for participation ? Knowing this will help us in our dialogue with governments, influencing policy and building partnerships."
Participants at the workshop were quick to raise their concerns, which ranged from pricing mechanisms to political instability, and Muwila responded with a succinct encapsulation of Africa and its challenges.
"We development institutions are as equally frustrated as you in the private sector. But that is why we so desperately need you, your skills, your ingenuity, your resources, your abilities if we are going to find solutions to develop our continent.
“Political instability, financial, culture, and physical constraints - this is the environment we are in. So we need to come up with appropriate risk models. We can’t simply turn away from countries that are emerging from conflict or still plunged in it because they don’t have the structures, policies and regulatory frameworks we expect in ’normal’ countries.
“Together, we have to find solutions. Help us. Give us your opinions and recommendations. We take this information seriously. It helps us enormously when we engage with governments. We face a monumental task, but I am convinced that if we join hands, we will achieve our goals."
In furtherance of NEPAD’s goals, the NEPAD Business Fund has established a Project Management Office led by John Rocha which will play a crucial role in facilitating and enhancing interaction between the private sector and key African development institutions such as the DBSA and ADB. NEPAD News, march 7, 2007