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Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio Chairs Summit of the APR Forum of Heads of State and Government, Signs MoU for Country’s Second-Generation Review

State House, Freetown, Wednesday 7 February 2024 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio, in his capacity as Chairperson of the African Peer Review Forum of Heads of State and Government, today chaired their 33rd Summit and signed an MoU with His Excellency Abdoulie Janneh, Chairperson of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons for the second-generation Review of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

The virtual meeting started with a moment of silence and prayer for His Excellency Hage Gottfried Geingob, the late President of Namibia, who died on 4 February 2024.

President Bio thanked colleagues for honouring his invitation to attend the summit, describing it as one that would create the opportunity for them to take cognisance of the impressive results achieved by the Continental Secretariat of the African Peer Review Mechanism, APRM, in 2023.

“The year that elapsed symbolised maturity and resilience for our Continental Secretariat. As chairperson of the APR Forum of Heads of State and Government, I attended the 20th anniversary celebration in Johannesburg in December and witnessed the launch of South Africa’s second-generation country review report. I also presented His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa’s legacy report for his staunch leadership of this august body from 2020 to 2022.

“Throughout the year, we witnessed the evolution of political will for good governance across the continent. Indeed, we no longer view good governance as a peripheral issue but as the cardinal lens through which we measure our policies, their impact, and the concrete amelioration of standards of living for the less fortunate individuals among us.

“Despite the doubts in our commitment and ability to promote good governance, as leaders of this great continent, we have continued to demonstrate our ability to hold each other to account through our annual engagement with the findings of the independent, cogent, and participatory reviews that establish the facts of public life in our countries.

“Today, the Central African Republic and the Republic of South Sudan will accede to the APRM as the 44th and 45th member states, respectively, bringing us closer to universal accession. I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate His Excellencies Faustin-Archange Touadera and Salva Kiir Mayardit for embracing the APRM’s philosophy.

“Africa cannot continue to be satisfied with the exporting of raw materials. We can expand markets for our products by playing a greater role in the construction of a more peaceful and more interdependent world in which fair trade in goods and services flourishes and reduces friction.”

“It is my considered view that Africa must also export diplomacy and peacemaking to make sure that its interests are protected and its values are reflected in global decision-making. The twenty-first century is Africa’s to claim; let us therefore rise to this occasion to make Africa proud,” he urged.

CEO of the APRM Continental Secretariat, Professor Eddy Maloka, updated the Forum of Heads of State and Government, saying that the APRM had a very good year in 2023, from the peer reviews of the Country Review Report of Niger and the targeted Review Report of Djibouti on fiscal decentralisation to the completion of five review missions to Zambia, Ghana, Senegal, Mozambique, and Togo.

“Your Excellence, having participated in some of the field missions led by members of the panel, I can attest to the intellectual rigour, thoroughness, and impartiality with which the reviews are completed by both the Panel and the National APRM structures. We have, in the APRM, an instrument that is apolitical and a unique means of improving governance at the individual state level and collectively at the forum level.

“It has, indeed, been an honour and a privilege for me to serve the APR Forum in delivering the APRM mandate that you have entrusted to me since 2016. I thank you for your confidence and am happy the new CEO will find a revitalised APRM that is leading good governance efforts and contributing to peace and security in Africa,” he stated.

Chairperson of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons, His Excellency Dr Abdoulie Janneh, revealed that since its inception the APRM had successfully completed twenty-six country reviews. He stated that “notably, six nations have willingly subjected themselves to a second-generation review, demonstrating a commitment to continuous improvement, while another eight have completed targeted reviews addressing specific governance challenges.

“We commend President Julius Maada Bio for his exemplary leadership as the Chair of the APR Forum of Heads of State and Government. His dedication and vision have undoubtedly played a pivotal role in the success and growth of the APRM, reinforcing our collective commitment to fostering good governance and sustainable development across the African Continent,” he concluded.

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