President Cyril Ramaphosa assumed the chair of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) on Saturday. The APRM is a governance monitoring and improvement initiative that grew out of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad).

Participating countries agree to conduct inclusive and comprehensive reviews of their own governance, and are then subjected to a review by a panel of experts from around the continent, as well as by a convocation of heads of state. Governance deficiencies are identified, and countries pledge to address them, with their peer countries holding them to these commitments.

The APRM has been applauded for the diagnostic quality of the reviews, although the lack of follow up and the failure of African countries to act on it have been criticised.

President Ramaphosa praised the ‘It is a vehicle for advancing unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity. In the end, the APRM must be seen for what it is. It is a driver for change.’

President Ramaphosa promised that the APRM would focus on ensuring that recommendations were put into practice.

‘Recommendations are key in achieving the much-needed impact on our continent. Unless they are executed, the reviews will not translate into tangible action on country level,’ he said.