In 2003 the government crafted the Economic Recovery Strategy, which focused on governance as one of the pillars for recovery of the country's economy. As part of this strategy, the government acceded to the African Union (AU) sponsored â€˜African Peer Review Mechanism' (APRM), a framework in which African countries agreed to open up, be transparent, accountable, and pursue democratic governance in all member countries.
Kenya went through a very vigorous self-assessment, culminating in a peer review of H.E. the President, and the country, in June/July 2006 at the AU Summit held in Banjul, The Gambia.
Kenya was the first country to undergo the peer review process in the whole continent.
Second Peer Review
Kenya's remarkable achievement at the continental level in terms of its governance reform was jolted by the unfortunate post election crisis of early 2008. Consequently, the APRM Summit of January 2009 decided that Kenya should undergo a partial review focusing on its political and democratic governance pillar. While this was a good idea, Kenya, having made so much progress on governance reforms since 2008, decided that comprehensive Second Peer Review should be undertaken, both to look at the achievements, and also to identify any areas in which we may still be facing challenges.
The government has therefore invited the Panel of Eminent Persons of the APRM, led by H.E. Prof Amos Sawyer, former Head of State of Liberia, to undertake the Second Country Peer Review. The exercise is taking place from 16 th to 31 st July, 2011.
Message from the Minister
Kenya is the first country to go into the second stage of the APRM process after His Excellency Hon. Mwai Kibaki, The President of the Republic of Kenya was initially reviewed by his peers at the African Peer Review Heads of State Forum in June 2006 in Banjul, The Gambia alongside Ghana and Rwanda.
So far, 31 AU Member states have acceded to the APRM and with 14 countries having been peer reviewed by the African Peer Review (APR) Forum i.e. Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa, Algeria, Benin, Uganda, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mozambique, Lesotho, Mauritius and Ethiopia.
The APRM process provided Kenya with the opportunity to undertake a comprehensive self assessment in the four thematic areas of democracy and good political governance, economic governance and management, socio-economic development and corporate governance. This exercise enabled the people of Kenya to assess the status of the country and the challenges facing it.
As a result, the people of Kenya were able to engage in a constructive manner with various Government and opinion leaders and express their views for greater participation, accountability, and transparency in the management of the country's public affairs. Indeed, Kenya's accession to the APRM was a testimony of its commitment towards a more equitable, a commitment which has expressed itself again through Vision 2030.
Kenya has been consistent in its engagement with the APRM process from initiation of the Country Review Report to its presentation at the APR Forum and subsequent progress reports.
The Government has tabled three progress reports to the APR Forum, the first [half-year] progress report covering June 2006-January 2007, the second [annual] progress report covering June 2006-June 2007, and the third [biennial] progress report covering June 2006-June 2008. On 26 th October 2008, Kenya presented a paper on Resource Control and Management at the 1 st Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the APR Forum in Cotonou, Benin.
The Value of the APRM Process
The APRM has a tremendous potential to promote, entrench and advance good governance and political democracy, conducive to iothe attainment of an enabling environment for peace, security and stability.
It is also an opportunity for Governments in Africa to demonstrate commitment and political will to promote, build mutual trust, and reinforce citizens' confidence in the effectiveness and fairness of their governance systems and the integrity and honesty of their political leaders.
The APRM provides citizens with the opportunity to participate effectively and meaningfully in the decision-making processes that affect them.
For both governments and citizens, implementation of the APRM presents opportunities to strengthen institutions of governance and reinforce structures and mechanism of democracy and good governance.
The APRM process provides opportunities for Africans to explore the possibilities of forging and promoting democracy and good governance appropriate to their situations.
Kenya has continued to remain engaged in the APRM process by implementing its National Programme of Action effectively and participating in Ministerial Forums and Heads of State Summits of the APRM. Kenya has managed to implement most of its commitments under the APRM NPOA. Some of the key milestones include:
i. Kenya is one of the few countries in the world where a progressive new constitution is adopted during peace times.
ii. Despite the global financial crisis no financial institution including banks has collapsed.
iii. Kenya has assigned and ratified most international codes and standards.
iv. To sustainable agriculture and food security, threshold for the NEPAD CAADP Programme is being attained through budgetary provisions.
vi. Various institutional policy and legal reforms have been undertaken including reform of the judiciary, the police force and the civil service.
Pro-poor policies including budget, resolution of internal conflicts and resettlement and reintegration of IDP's ongoing.
A National Economic Blue Print i.e. Vision 2030 is under implementation.
ix. Constitutional commissions established and various legislations enacted.
x. Gender sensitive policy and budgeting under implementation.
xi. Youth initiatives
xii. Electoral Reforms
Message from the Assistant Minister
During the 10th Summit of the Committee of Heads of State and Government Participating in the African Peer Review Forum held on 31st January 2009, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, H.E. the President presented the progress report on the implementation of the APRM National Programme of Action (NPoA) covering the period June 2006 - January 2009.
H.E the President assured the Forum that the Grand Coalition Government (GCG), established through the support of the African Union was working well and Kenya remained firmly committed to succeeding in the implementation of the APRM-NPoA.
In the ensuing discussions, the Summit (APR Forum) lauded Kenya for the progress it had achieved and decided that in view of the developments in the country, the Lead Eminent Panelist for Kenya should lead a team of experts to undertake a Second Country Review of Kenya.
Thus far, a new Lead Eminent Panelist for Kenya, H.E. Prof. Amos Sawyer, and former Head of State for Liberia has been appointed as the APRM Lead Panelist for Kenya.
The review of Kenya is expected to highlight the impressive achievements the country has attained since embarking on the implementation of the National Reform Agenda and the APRM-NPOA.
As is the practice in all reviews, the report is expected to highlight the progress made by the country, best practices particularly in the implementation of the national reform agenda as well as potential areas of constraints and challenges and recommendations. This will be contained in the Country Review Report (CRR) to be tabled during the peer review of Kenya.
Ghana will be reviewed immediately after Kenya, and other countries are expected to follow suit in the 2nd Generation of Reviews.
Message from the Permanent Secretary
The APRM aims to foster the adoption of policies and practices that will lead to stability, high economic growth, and sustainable development, and accelerated regional and continental economic growth and integration.
It is important to note that when Kenya voluntarily acceded to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in March, 2003, it was driven by the need for adherence to good governance principles.
The process culminated in the preparation of the APRM Country Review Report and a National Programme of Action covering four thematic areas of the review, namely: Democracy and Political Governance; Economic Governance and Management; Corporate Governance; and Socio-Economic Development.
The report identified a number of key overarching challenges which the report hoped the country would speedily seek to address. These were:
(i) The challenges of managing national diversity
(ii) The constitution making process
(iii) The question relating to land reforms
(iv) Gender inequality
(v) Youth Unemployment
(vi) Poverty eradication and wealth distribution among others
The above challenges were also largely part of the issues that were dealt with during the negotiations leading to the establishment of the Grand Coalition Government under the leadership of the former United Nations secretary General Dr. Koffi Annan.
The Government has since then put in place the necessary legal frameworks and structures to deal with some of these issues, including, the Constitutional Review Bill, and The Justice Truth and Reconciliation Act (2008). The Government has also made progress in resettling the Internally Displaced Persons. The Government is equally committed to enhancing efforts towards gender equity, and creation and distribution of wealth.
With the realization of a new constitutional dispensation in August 2010, electoral reforms through the Boundaries Commission are some of the steps being undertaken by the Government in ensuring that the key challenges identified by the first African Peer Review are effectively tackled. Indeed, the Vision 2030 is based on three pillars: the economic, the social and the political, which mirror the four pillars of the APRM.
Acting as a forum for building national trust, nationhood and reconciliation among our people, the APRM has facilitated significant progress in fulfilling the principles and ideals of NEPAD. However, much still needs to be done.
The Role of APRM in AGENDA Four
The issues identified in Agenda 4, such as managing diversity and the dangers of neglecting this challenge; the problem of youth unemployment; land reforms; constitutional reforms; and poverty eradication were identified by citizens of this country and subsequently included in the 2006 APRM country Assessment Report. APRM will therefore continue in collaboration with other organizations such as South Consultants to monitor progress being made in this area.
The APRM process played an important role during Kenyans mediation exercise after the post election violence. The inclusion of Dr. Graca Machel in the African Union team of mediators was due to the fact that she was the Lead APRM Panellist responsible for Kenya during the First country Review in October 2005. She therefore had very good knowledge and understanding of local issues, a fact that helped greatly during the mediation.
Message from the Acting CEO
APRM is a mutually agreed instrument for self-monitoring by the participating member states. It is the tool by which citizens and other stakeholders monitor the extent to which African governments; in this case Kenya conforms to the agreed political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards, contained in the Declaration by the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee on Democracy, Political, and Economic and Corporate governance.
While the other initiatives also may monitor the activities of government, the approach is different. For one, the methodology used by APRM is citizen centered. The APRM provides a platform, through which citizens can constructively dialogue with government, the private sector and other stakeholders in an effort to influence public policy and governance generally.
Secondly APRM accounts to both citizens and the Forum of African Heads of State and Government. Through this the APRM takes accountability 0f governments beyond their country's borders. It is therefore an additional national and regional, indeed international accountability mechanism.
What the 2nd Review Entails (Process)
The Review team prepares a country issues paper, which is a general background of the country including developments and progress in the area of governance to provide the various team members an updated profile of the country.
The Country Review Team (CRT) members including the lead panelist, members of the APR Continental Secretariat, representatives from the Pan African parliament and representatives from strategic NEPAD / APRM partner institutions, i.e. the African Development Bank, the UNDP & UNECA as well as supporting consultants are constituted for the mission (the CRT for Kenya has already been constituted).
A programme of the Country Review Mission (CRM), is developed in consultation with the country (a draft Programme has been developed) attached to this brief as an annex.
The panel pays a courtesy call on H.E the President and Rt. Hon. Prime Minister to brief them on the mission.
In accordance with APRM Peer Review Practice, the Head of State Launches the Country Review Process by addressing a National APRM Convention of Stakeholders in a State of the Nation Address.
After the peer review, the country is expected to commence implementation of the resultant National Programme of Action (NPoA) and to report progress to the forum