APRM Birthday: The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is a mutually agreed instrument voluntarily used by members of the African Union (AU) to review each other and also boost the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.
On Wednesday, March 8, APRM celebrated its 14th birthday, having been founded on March 8, 2003.
South Africa’s former President Thabo Mbeki was one of the founding fathers of the APRM. As expected, Mbeki was one of the dignitaries that graced the colorful occasion, held in Johannesburg yesterday.
The APRM Day event also pulled ambassadors and high-level delegates from within the country.
Mbeki arrived at the meeting venue in Montecasino, Johannesburg a few minutes earlier to a hero’s welcome that included praise-singing, applause, and delegates taking pictures of him with their cellphones.
When he finally got to the podium, Mbeki urged Africans to work towards eradicating poverty and making the continent a better place.
He asserted that the responsibility to transform Africa, make it democratic and peaceful and to rid it of poverty and underdevelopment rests in the hands of Africans.
Speaking on why APRM was established, the former president said the main reason was to assess African leadership and support each other.
“We said let’s set up this peer review mechanism. The idea was that we must assess ourselves, and hence the benchmarks to say we must then assess each of our countries according to each of these benchmarks,” he said.
Mbeki, also the used the opportunity to slate the leadership of the African National Congress(ANC) for grooming corruption in the party.
He admitted that corruption has been plaguing the ANC for years, and even older party members joined in the race of abusing membership instead clearing the name of the party of corruption and scandals.
Many of ANC members, he revealed, joined the party, not because they upheld the values and perspectives and aspirations of the ANC, but because it was an instrument to access state power and to enrich themselves.
Although the now UNISA Chancellor refrained from mentioning names, he lamented that people who pay for the corruption are the ordinary poor people.
Still on corruption in the ANC, Mbeki admitted that fighting it won’t be so easy because joining ANC is very easy.
He said: “You pay subscription [you look at], some requirements about membership, policy and all that, which is not difficult. So I would go and pay my annual subscription, and recite whatever policy thing, and I’m a member. There’s no way of telling that this one is joining for this other purpose.”
He called on all and sundry to work together towards uprooting corruption in South Africa and Africa as a whole.
Last month, Thabo Mbeki was inaugurated as UNISA’s new Chancellor. He replaced Judge Bernard Ngoepe who served as chancellor for fifteen years.
Ngoepe is a South African Judge. He obtained a BJur from the University of the North and an LLB degree from Unisa.
Corruption In ANC
While the Zuma-led administration often reiterates that the African National Congress (ANC) has taken a strong stance to root out corruption, many still believe that the party has done little or nothing to take up such responsibility.
In fact, many believe the ANC-led government still stands out as the most offensive scandalous government South Africa has ever known since the end of white-minority rule.
Since 1994, SA has been rocked by non-stop drama featuring allegations of high-level corruption and illicit influence by private interests which have led to court cases against the political elite, reaching as far as President Jacob Zuma.
Expensive upgrades to Zuma’s family home in the province of KZN became a rallying point for his opponents last year.
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