Lusaka, Zambia 29 November 2023. The APRM Continental Secretariat delegation led by Honourable Lydia Wanyoto-Mutende, APR Panel member, has arrived in Zambia to undertake the country’s second- generation country review, 10 years after the base review. Following the support mission held last week and the courtesy call paid on Honourable Mulambo Haimbe (MP), Minister of Justice and APRM Focal Point in Zambia, the country review mission made up of experts from the APRM Continental Secretariat and independent consultants.
The team of experts who came from various African countries met with the five Technical Research Institutes (TRIs), which were tasked with developing the country self-assessment report (CSAR). The CSAR submitted to the APRM Continental Secretariat is the major step towards fielding the country review. The TRIs selected for the CSAR are high level research institutions and think-tanks which have demonstrated experience in providing rigorous analyses of political and socio-economic issues in Zambia.
The meeting between the TRIs and the review mission was organised to allow the former to present their findings in each of the five thematic areas. Besides the desk research, data were gathered from the 10 provinces in Zambia through extensive consultations in the span of less than six months which is no mean feat considering the breadth and depth of issues covered.
The Chairperson of the National Governing Council (NGC), Brig. Dr Timothy Kazembe, in his opening remarks, highlighted the colossal work accomplished by the TRI despite facing considerable time constraints, and further commended their effort in demonstrating resilience and perseverance in drafting the CSAR within a record time. He welcomed the delegation and stated that he was pleased to collaborate with Honourable Lydia Wanyoto-Mutende, the second woman in charge of Zambia on the APRM Panel after Honourable Graca Machel.
Honourable Lydia Wanyoto-Mutende, for her part, thanked the country for its hospitality and indicated the importance of finding African solutions to African problems. This philosophy led the APRM to come to Zambia with a spirit of assistance rather than judgment. She added that it was time Africa rose.
Before the presentations started, the Vice-Chair of the NGC, Mrs. Anna Imasiku made an important announcement. In order to ensure inclusiveness participation of all stakeholders present and frank discussions between the review mission and TRIs, the NGC decided to leave the meeting. The country’s authorities have pledged to support the credible, technically sound and independent nature of the APRM’s reviews and encouraged the review mission to feel at liberty to conduct the necessary investigations in order to conclude the review and prepare the report thereof for submission to the APR Forum of Heads of State and Government in February 2024.
Some of the issues raised in the presentations and subsequent discussions were Zambia’s vibrant democracy, its hospitality towards refugees from neighbouring countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi and Rwanda, its support for farmers and vulnerable communities, as well as its dependence on copper as a core source of government revenues. Progress has been achieved in many domains since the base review, but overall economic challenges have been on the rise in the country, mainly but not only, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, strong legislation exists in a variety of sectors but enforcing it remains a governance challenge.
The meeting interactions enabled a convergence of views on the key issues across all the thematic areas. The various stakeholders’ engagements will further enrich the key findings of the APRM Continental Secretariat to identify governance gaps and sharpen the questions that will be put to stakeholders during the review, both in the capital Lusaka and within regional consultations.
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About the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM)
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is a mutually agreed instrument for member countries to voluntarily self-monitor their compliance with agreed international and continental governance standards. The APRM's vision is to build an Africa that is prosperous, peaceful, democratic, and sustainable. It aims to foster the adoption of policies, standards, and practices that lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development, and accelerated regional and continental economic integration.