Ramaphosa is new chairperson for Africa Review Mechanism portfolio

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa assumed the chairmanship of the African Review Peer Mechanism on Saturday by assuring members that SA will deepen review processes across the continent and upscale the implementation of actions aimed at improving good governance.

Ramaphosa took over from the President of Chad Idris Derby on the sidelines of the AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“Our engagements as leaders must continue being characterised by honesty, critical introspection, and sincerity. I have no doubt that the deliberations of this forum will be as frank and as robust as they have always been,” Ramaphosa said.

A Specialised Agency of the AU (AU), the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), is  intended to be Africa’s self-assessment for good governance.

The purpose of the APRM is that members can undertake self-assessment of all branches of government — executive, legislative and judicial — as well as the private sector, civil society, and the media.

Ramaphosa has taken over the APRM as he sets out to take over the chairmanship of the AU on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, he also took over the reins of the AU committee for climate change.

Ramaphosa said SA wanted to pursue non-members of the APRM to join.

Before Ramaphosa spoke, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that his country was joining the APRM in a move that is aimed at deepening democracy in that country.

Mnangagwa said his country has undergone a number of reforms meant at enhancing democracy.

“To date, we have made cross-cutting reformed to achieve an accountable state,” he said.

Seychelles too joined the APRM on Saturday.

Ramaphosa said the APRM was a mechanism from Africa for Africa.

“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,” he said.