Stages in the APRM Process

There are 5 stages that a country needs to follow as part of the process:

Stage 1: Preparation & Self - Assessment

The country to be reviewed has initial consultations with the APR Secretariat and later hosts a Country Support Mission and signs a memorandum of understanding agreeing to be reviewed. The country also appoints a national focal point (APR Focal Point) and National Governing Council (NGC) to oversee the APR process. The APR Focal Point and the NGC begins its research and consultation programme on the critical areas to be measured (political, economic, corporate governance and socio-economic development) using the Country Self Assessment questionnaire. At the same time the APR Secretariat writes a background paper on the country, as well as an issues paper discussing areas of concern. At the end of this stage the country submits its self-assessment report and programme of action to the APR Secretariat. These documents are then used to prepare for the Country Review Visit.

Stage 2: The Country Review Visit

Using the issues paper and the country’s self–assessment as a basis a Country Review visit is made by a Country Review Team that consists of experts from other African countries and institutions. Wide and varied consultations with government, political parties, parlimentaries, civil society (including media, trade unions, academia, business and professional bodies, women, youth, and rural communities) are held. This process can take 2-3 weeks; it clarifies and generates more information than at Stage 1.

Stage 3: Preparation of the final country assessment

The Country Review Team drafts a report on the information and activities of Stage 1 and 2, making reference to the Plan of Action. Discussions will be had with the government of the country under review, to check for accuracy and allow for any official responses to the report. These responses do not change the report but they will be added as additional information to the report. However, the government may amend its Plan of Action at this stage, based on recommendations in the draft report.

Stage 4: The Peer Review

The APR secretariat sumbits the report to the APRM Forum of Heads of States. The head of state of the country is ‘peer reviewed’ by his fellow heads of states. There is discussion of the report, and possibly identification of corrective action to be taken. It is at this stage that any 'peer pressure' if necessary, will be applied. For instance if there are problems in the country under review, and it's willing to improve the situation, the countries in the APRM will provide whatever assistance is possible.

Stage 5: Presentation to the public and African Institutions

Six months after the report is discussed by the forum it is released to important continental and sub regional organisations, such as the Pan African Parliament and regional economic communities. After this, the report is made available to all members of the public.