A two-day sensitization seminar for civil society and media representatives in the Kenema district on the Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) process in Sierra Leone organized by National Accountability Group (NAG) has ended at the Eastern Polytechnic canteen along Combema road in Kenema city.
Giving an over view of the objectives of the APRM process in Sierra Leone Mr. Abu Bakarr Kamara a member of the Sierra Leone APRM Steering committee said on 8th July 2002, the 38th Ordinary Session of the African Union endorsed the MOU of the APRM.
The APRM processes entail periodic reviews of the policies and practices of participating countries to ascertain progress being made towards achieving the mutually agreed goals and compliance in the four focus areas, namely
Democracy and political Governance
Economic Governance and Management,
Corporate Governance, and
The objectives of the APRM is to promote peace, security and stability on the continent
· Promote democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance
· Promote and protect human and peoples rights
· Promote sustainable development at the economic, social and cultural levels
· Promote cooperation in all fields of human activity to raise the living standards of African people
Mr. Edward B. Koroma jr. Programme Assistant National Accountability Group (NAG) in his presentation spoke about the role of the media in the APRM process. Saying that at the planning phase:- as part of the steering committee, media should assist in the putting up of the management structures (Governing Council/Commission) in the selection of Technical Review Teams.
He said it is proposed that the operations of the APRM be directed and managed by a Panel of between 5 and 7 eminent persons. The members of the Panel must be Africans who have distinguished themselves in careers that are considered relevant to the work of the APRM. In addition, members of the panel must be persons of high moral stature and demonstrated commitment to the ideals of Pan Africanism.
Delivering his speech the Resident Minister East Hon. William Juana Smith said the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) as you will soon learn has been put in place to enhance self monitoring by the participating member governments of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) which was formed by the Africa Union to encourage the adoption of standards and policies that lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration.
Such achievement he said can only be realized through the sharing of experiences and reinforcement of successful and best practices. Among other topics presented include the role to the various stakeholders in the APRM process and the APRM implementation strategies across Africa.
Two vehicles are currently in police custody at the Koindu police station in the Kailahun district each loaded with 200 bags of 50Kg of seed rice. According to police sources in Kailahun the two vehicles were impounded because they do not have the appropriate documentation for conveying the items for GTZ/FSR operating in border chiefdoms of Kono and Kailahun districts in the east of the country.
In an interview with GTZ/FSR Programme Officer Mr. Rex Mohamed Kenneh at his 36 Hangha road regional office, he explained that the three sister GTZ projects in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are working towards enhancement of Peace, Stability leading to economic development in their areas of operations. These three projects are located along the borders of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone in the Mano River basin / Makona river basin. They exchange services to foster the attainment of their objectives. These services include among others provision of planting materials such as seed rice, support to youth’s peace initiatives etc. For the past two years GTZ/FSR has been assisting GTZ Lofa County Liberia in facilitating the procurement of small quantity of seed rice for their farmers. This will not only increase production within Lofa County in Liberia but will reduce the present trend of rice filtration from Sierra Leone into Liberia along the border. The present shipment of seed rice from Sierra Loene to Liberia is just a continuation of their activities.