Lusaka- Zambia- 14 December 2023. After concluding its regional consultations in the northern and southern parts of Zambia, the APRM second-generation country review mission led by Honourable Lydia Wanyoto-Mutende paid a courtesy call on H.E Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia, at State House on December 14th, 2023. The President was gracious with his time and the meeting lasted over an hour.
The APRM delegation was made up of Honourable Lydia Wanyoto-Mutende, lead APR Panel member for Zambia, Mr. Hugues Manzila, country coordinator of the Republic of Zambia, Mr. Bachir Salifou Oumarou, Mr. Germain Miteu Tshinu and Mr. Emmanuel Merissa Anna, researchers at the Continental Secretariat supporting the democracy and political governance, state resilience to shocks and disasters and broad-based socio-economic development thematic areas respectively, Dr. Ibrahim Al-Bakri Nyei, expert in charge of democracy and political governance, Prof Karim Ben Kahla, expert in charge of corporate governance, Prof Mutiu Oyinlola, expert in charge of economic governance and management, Ms. Houda Mejri, expert in charge of broad-based socio-economic development, Prof Nicodemus Nyandiko, expert in charge of state resilience to shocks and disasters. The APRM delegation was also accompanied of representatives of strategic partners that we have committed technical expertise to the Zambia 2nd Generation Country Review mission, namely Mr. Tapera Chinemhute from the COMESA secretariat and Mr. Ian Filakati from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s regional office in Lusaka.
The Zambian delegation was comprised of APRM Focal Point, Honourable Mulambo Haimbe (MP), Minister of Justice, Mr. Mulilo Kabesha, Attorney General, Mr. Marshal Muchende, Solicitor General, Mrs. Thandiwe Daka Oteng, Permanent Secretary in charge of administration at the Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Etambuyu Anamela Gundersen, Permanent Secretary in charge of international relations and cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Brigadier General (Rtd) Timothy Kazembe, Chairperson of the National Governing Council (NGC), Mrs. Anna Imasiku, Vice-Chairperson of the NGC, other members of the NGC and members of the National Secretariat.
The lead Panel member made her remarks and expressed her gratitude to the President for Zambia’s remarkable hospitality and explained the purpose of the mission. She underscored the necessity of finding African solutions to African problems. Zambia, she noted, is one of the few countries to submit itself to a second-generation country review. The country acceded to the APRM in 2006 and completed its base country review in 2013. Then, in 2019, it participated in two targeted reviews on tourism and mineral resources.
Zambia is characterized by resilience and self-accountability. Honourable Lydia Wanyoto-Mutende praised H.E Hakainde Hichilema’s principled leadership and thanked him for the renewed trust in the APRM. As she concluded her remarks, she indicated her amazement at the level of information sharing, the role of women in leadership and the existence of a National Development Coordination Committee which regularly reviews the government’s efforts to implement the 8th National Development Plan which is owned by the people. She noted that this is a commendable practice. Moreover, she informed the President that sufficient data have been collected for the preparation of the report which would be shared with the country in due time.
In his rejoinder to the lead Panel member, H.E Hakainde Hichilema welcomed the delegation from the APRM to State House which is the people’s house because they installed him there through a democratic election. In acknowledging and appreciating the diversity of the APRM delegation, he asserted that the APRM is Zambia’s and Africa’s programme. Therefore, Zambia feels comfortable participating in this second-generation country review which will enhance the collaboration between the country and the APRM. H.E Hakainde Hichilema affirmed that both the base review and the second one have been led by capable and strong women. The country’s commitment to gender equality and women empowerment is evident. Indeed, the Vice-Presidency is held by a woman, there are two female Permanent Secretaries in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and one female Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice. In the National Assembly, both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are women.
H.E Hakainde Hichilema expressed his hope that the second-generation country review will yield positive results. Crucially, the President stated that the current crop of African leaders does not want to be defined in the negative sense. He said that he was in power to deliver on his mandate. He shared the ambitious plans he has for Zambia. He would like the country to start adding value to resources and play a role in the electric vehicle revolution, as country is attracting investments in these fields. However, the cost of capital has been very high for Africa and the continent’s development has been limited as a result. H.E Hakainde Hichilema encouraged Africa to improve its resilience to shocks and disasters through building capacity to manufacture vaccines and add value to critical minerals which are sought for green energy and industries of tomorrow.
While being strongly committed to democracy, the President of Zambia argued that democracy alone cannot provide water, food or retirement benefits, therefore there is an imperative need to unlock and fully capitalise on the potential of the continent both in terms of natural resources and human capital in order to create sustainable value chains that benefit African people. Furthermore, he highlighted that APRM reviews should assess the state of Africa’s economic governance so as to deepen democracy. Two years after taking power, H.E Hakainde Hichilema has already taken strong measures that will be consequential for the stability and welfare of the country. His administration has repealed the death penalty as well as the defamation of the President to allow Zambians to enjoy freedom of speech while bearing in mind the responsibility to self-censor. The current government believes that no one is above the rule of law and is reinforcing the rule of law and reforming laws accordingly. H.E Hakainde Hichilema concluded his statement by reiterating Zambia’s unwavering commitment to the APRM and to its values and principles and endorsed the APRM second-generation country review led by Honourable Lydia Wanyoto-Mutende.
About the African Peer Review Mechanism
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is an initiative of the African Union, founded in March 2003 by the Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC) of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). The purpose of APRM is to facilitate the adoption of policies, principles and practices that contribute to political and economic stability and growth, additionally to leading sustainable development. The four thematic areas of APRM are composed of 1) Democracy and Good Political Governance; 2) Economic Governance and Management; 3) Corporate Governance; 4)Socio-Economic Development; 5) State Resilience to Shocks and Disasters
In January 2017, the AU Assembly of Head of States and Government expanded the APRM mandate to Monitoring and Evaluation of the implementation of AU Agenda 2063 and SDGs 2030. While the January 2018 Assembly, amongst other things, welcomed steps taken to position the APRM as an early warning tool for conflict prevention in Africa, in the context of harmony and synergy between the APRM, African Peace and Security Architecture, and the African Governance Architecture